Oh, The Places You’ll Go: My first blogging year in review

Boy, has this been an adventure. I have been absolutely thrilled with my first year of blogging. And to think that I procrastinated for six months because I thought blogging would be a very steep learning curve for a technologically challenged baby boomer like myself! But, there it was on my list of New Year’s Resolutions and this was my first accomplishment for 2013: my very first post on January 2.
I was so proud of myself and didn’t care whether or not I would have any followers, nor did I know how to “get” any followers at the time. And now, there are over 400 people who want to be notified whenever I publish a new post. Well, technically not that many because WordPress includes my Facebook friends in this count and only a few of those bother to look at my blog posts. But that’s ok.
Mostly, I’ve been delighted to meet so many like-minded people in the blogosphere, literally all over the world – Europe, Africa, Asia, Australia and North and South America. I vicariously experience other bloggers’ travels and it makes me curious about places I might not have been drawn to otherwise.
I find comic relief in some of the truly talented blogs – people who should be paid to make us laugh so hard.
I enjoy looking at the many stunning photographs.
I appreciate deeply felt and well reasoned posts on a wide variety of social, political and cultural themes. It’s like having your own international magazine on the WordPress reader.
I can’t wait to read your comments after each posting. Sometimes, comments are polite, sometimes exuberant, sometimes deeply personal. Friendships evolve, personal visits happen based on initial meeting in the blogosphere. We truly are a world community in this space and I deeply appreciate it and want to thank everyone of you who has visited my blog and especially those who have left comments and often been in regular contact – it’s been a delight and I am looking forward to more of it in 2014.

Wherever you are in the world and whatever customs and rituals you practice to mark the transition from the old year into the new – do it consciously and with love and gratitude.

Below I will highlight a few of what I consider my best posts during 2013 especially since the earlier ones tend to sink into oblivion, somewhere in the deep recesses of the blog archives.

Initially, I thought about using my blog for my poem/photo combinations only, like Star Cave, written during a week of deep immersion into the land and ancient culture of the Navajo (Dine) people in Canyon de Chelly, Arizona.
Or another poem, Angel Trumpets, written while soaking in the bath tub and staring at the large canvas of this image suspended on my bathroom wall.

But then I strolled around and was smitten with the glass art of Chihuly in this amazing exhibit. I could not keep this to myself!

Whenever possible, I try to highlight the uniqueness of the region I live in, the Appalachian Mountain range that extends along most of the Eastern part of the US. This post of a frozen snow mountain landscape contrasted by a brilliant blue sky was very popular.
My solo adventure to the bottom of the Falling Springs waterfall was fun, even if tinged with a bit of danger.
I love native wildflowers and am forever grateful to my naturalist friend Charles who showed me these hidden treasures of absolutely stunning native orchids and other spring wildflowers

I am often inspired by the various photo challenges. Once I see the theme, my mind begins to ruminate on what images I might have that fit the bill, then rummaging through my photo archives to see what’s there. This wordpress challenge on “culture” is one of my favorites since it appeals to my own need for exposure to different cultures and allowed me to play with the whole concept of culture and its many manifestations.

While I dedicate my blog to the exploration of Beauty in all its ordinary and extra-ordinary manifestations, my middle name has never been Polyanna who pretends that there are only nice things in the world. I think this is well expressed in my post “Can There be Beauty in Sorrow?” and again in my tribute to one of my heroes, Nelson Mandela.

To add even more variety to my blog categories, I began my semi-fictional Bali travel memoir in February. Chapter 1, Chapter 2, Chapter 3, Chapter 4, and Chapter 5 are posted under the Travel-Three Weeks in Bali category. It is still a work in progress and I would love to receive constructive feedback on these stories. I incorporated lots of photos, as they tell as much or more of the story as the actual words.

I’ll end here wishing you all a creative, colorful, and successful New Year!

About Beauty Along the Road

A blog about discovering beauty in all its ordinary and extraordinary manifestations.
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27 Responses to Oh, The Places You’ll Go: My first blogging year in review

  1. Love your blog, the beautiful pics and most of all your passionate understanding of human existence in nature. May your holidays be brilliant!!!!


  2. suzjones says:

    Thank you so much for sharing. I love your photos also and enjoy your posts. šŸ™‚


  3. randee says:

    I’m glad I found you. I have enjoyed your blog. Happy holidays!


  4. Barneysday says:

    Being originally from the east coast, (Seems a lifetime ago) I enjoy your pictures and stories immensely. Thanks for sharing, and congratulations on making it through the year!


  5. Annette, I think I’ll continue to call you Beauty though, I am thrilled to finally subscribe to your blog. I love this post and it’s fun to look through your year of posts all in one place. Great idea. Enjoy your holidays mi amiga.


  6. dadirri7 says:

    thanks for the links to past posts, I will come back and browse when time allows … blogging is quite an adventure isn’t it?


  7. Glad you joined the blogosphere. I love reading your posts – the beautiful photos and your take on the world – and we are roughly linked by the Appalachians – north & south. šŸ™‚


    • I had to do some “research” on your blog to discover your name, Cyndi. It didn’t feel right to say, “Dear Composting” šŸ™‚ I’ve enjoyed your posts as well, thank you for sharing your story and healing journey.


  8. etinkerbell says:

    Congratulations on your first year of blogging. It’s a real pleasure to read your posts. Happy Holidays from Rome šŸ™‚


  9. lauramacky says:

    Congrats on your one-year anniversary! I just might steal this idea! šŸ˜›


  10. Tahira says:

    And here’s to another year of blogging! Happy New Year! All the best in 2014!


  11. dogear6 says:

    The blogging isn’t so hard, is it? I always tell people to just get started and figure it out as you go. If you wait for perfect, it never happens. I didn’t realize you were blogging for so short a time – congratulations on doing so good!



  12. Beauty: Just discovered your blog…as I am only 4 months into my own blogging experience, I relate well with this post. My inner geek was re-awakened in order for my creative selves to use this new-to-me platform for my he(art). And your site affords plenty of ideas for putting it out there on the bloggo-sphere..Hope you don’t mind if I use a few? I’ll be keeping an eye out on your site as I love your pics and commentary.


    • Hi Laura – welcome to my blog AND the blogosphere. I hope you’ll find many inspiring blogs to read. There are so many incredibly creative people out there to discover….
      Feel free to borrow ideas, if you are so inspired. I trust you’ll give credit when credit is due….
      I looked around a bit on your blog and admire your musical background (I can barely carry a tune). I’ve seen a blog or so where people do short videos that include music, maybe accompanying some writings. However, at the moment, I can’t think of the name of the blog I saw just recently.


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