It’s My Blog’s Birthday & You’re Invited!

(photo courtesy Tony aka Broomehead)

It has been exactly one year since I started this blog.  Wow!  A whole year; how did that happen?  If my blog was my baby, I would expect her to be walking and talking by now, and she is—in fact, she’s moving so fast I can’t quite keep up with her, full of big ideas, using big words, and dropping the occasional f-bomb.  She has a life of her own.    

But when I started, I didn’t know what the hell I was doing.  I thought that merely clicking the word “publish” would somehow make me famous.  It didn’t occur to me that I’d need pictures and music to jazz up the joint and that, like a good old-fashioned party hostess,  I’d have to make people feel welcome, I’d have to make introductions and ask good questions if I wanted to generate discussion.  I didn’t understand tags or categories or stats or how to get traffic and had no idea how much time it would take. How. Much. Time. (Do you spend as much time on your computer as I do?)  (How in the world do you manage your day job?)

It started out as a place to post chapters of my last novel and morphed into something else with personal essays, book and magazine reviews, dialogues, field experiments, short stories, and some fluffy bits.  I even tried some almost-poems.  I don’t think the word “blog” aptly conveys what it is.  (What would you call it? What do you think about the word “blog”?)

There were days when not one single person stopped by and I felt invisible and alone;  I left whiny messages on my friends’ voicemails, I bribed my kids for hugs.  On my busiest day, there were 580 views and I was literally skipping down the street.  This is my 77th post.  At this moment, my blog has had 10,738 views all time, and I’m mother-proud.  Maybe my blog wasn’t famous but it didn’t suck, either.  Not bad for a newbie. 

Mostly, I never imagined what a wonderful group of people I’d connect with.  As a result of meeting you, my view of reality has shifted and the world seems closer, friendlier, and much, much more interesting.   If I could, I’d have you all over today to celebrate.  We’d fire up the hot tub.  We’d have trays heaped with finger-foods and fancy drinks.  We could dance!

(How would I recognize you?  Would you be dancing, eating, or hiding in the corner? )

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About girl in the hat

aka Anna Fonté, writer of novels, short stories, personal essays, and bits about the neighborhood crows. The things I write want you to look at them.

28 comments

  1. Happy birthday, Girl in the Hat! Congrats on your first year. I’ve enjoyed reading when I can and have been sending people your way when I see something I know someone would enjoy. I blogged for about 3 years when I ran my gallery and it was a really interesting and surprising experiment. (if you want to peek it’s still up at tinkutales.blogspot.com) It surprised me how my own feelings about exposing myself changed – at first it was almost comforting and afterwards it felt draining. I don’t blog anymore but was considering starting again, mostly as a writing exercise for myself versus something I want the world to see.

    As for the word blog – it’s a weird word. Started from web log, which is a very pragmatic and dry way to describe what it has turned into. Not sure what a good alternative would be – blogs can be a cross between a diary, journal, scrapbook on the one hand and truly no different than a book in other cases.

    Enjoy your day. I look forward to the coming year.

    • Amrita! Love your blog! And your bizcard: “Make love to my imagination. We can work on the rest later” is just so, so good. Funny– My feelings moved in the opposite direction. I started feeling inhibited and slowly stopped worrying about it.
      Please start blogging again so I can tune in! (At this virtual party, you are the one with the fabulous shoes, right?

  2. Happy Birthday, girl in the hat! It’s been a delightful romp and I look forward to more. I love reading your voice!

  3. Congrats! That first birthday’s always a fun little milestone. Here’s to the year to come!

  4. Happy birthday girl in the hat !!!

  5. Happy blog-birthday, Anna! I can’t believe you’ve been doing this only a year; your site has the feel of one that’s been inspiring, welcoming, and enriching people for much longer.

    Do you think in the future we’ll have other words for describing these virtual homes and porches of ours, besides “blog” and “website” and “page” and all that? It used to be that a blog was a blog, and a site was a site, and they weren’t integrated with each other. Now you can build your blog into something more — static as well as dynamic — and it’s getting much less precise to refer to these places as, well, any of the terms we’ve currently got. I wonder.

    You’ll find me at your party dancing and guzzling any sweets I can lay hands on. And hanging out with Ré, probably! ;) *raises a glass* Cheers, friend!!

    • I like the idea of a virtual home. The next word for what we do definitely needs to be more homey.
      I’ll meet you guys on the dance floor with a plate full of pastries. (We’ll need the energy, right?)

  6. Happy Blog Birthday, Anna! I wish this could be a real party with laughter, conversation and the tinkling of glasses. I’d move heaven and earth to be there.

    You’d find me milling about, with a smile that I hoped wasn’t silly, trying to listen in on as many conversations as I could, a little afraid to join in. Then I’d hang with Lisa :) and hope, as you make your rounds, you find your way to us a few times.

    You already know my thoughts on the whole blog/site/whatever conundrum. That puzzle is still tuckering me out.

    580 views in one day?!! I bow at your feet. May the views keep on coming.

    • Let’s sit over there where we can hear and see everything. I made these blackberry dumplings just for you. (580 was some kind of freaky day. Some mystical magical harmonic convergence. Or maybe I used the f word in my title.)

  7. Wow You sure grew up in only one year! Good for you. Congrats!

  8. elma

    This morning I offered a sabbatical day to Girlinthehat and to her Mom without knowing it was actually her birthday. One year? What a beautiful baby! So I put all the energy on this blog so that it pushes some marginal publishers see with their own eyes they can renew their writers without any difficulty. My best wishes to you both.

    • Thank you dear Josette! Last year’s present to myself was a blog– sort of like giving someone a puppy in terms of commitment required, but thankfully I had no idea what I was doing. Let’s lunch soon!

  9. Wow, that’s crazy, Anna. Not bury-people-in-the-back-yard crazy, or write-letters-to-the-editor crazy, but crazy nonetheless. I always knew some of my blogging buddies had written about as long as I had, but didn’t realize you started 2 days before I did. I had 5 entries last October 21st–now that’s crazy. I don’t think I “discovered” you until Feb. of this year, when I read the love letter you wrote to the airline. And here’s where jealousy rears its big green ugly head; I’ve cranked out 95 posts, but only gotten about one-fourth the visits you have. Oh well, I am a bit of a hermit. Please keep it up; I love to read you.

    The hot tub sounds great, as it is about 40 degrees here today. I’d be the one who spilled a little off the top of my first two drinks, before the nervousness wore off. I’d stand to the side and listen until the drinks kicked in, then start yammering with the best of them. And dance, yes, but you can’t really call it that. “Lurching around”, maybe, but not dancing.

    I hate the word blog, but it’s the only word that is used to describe this fun thing, I’m too tired to work, let alone read or write, unless I stay up way too late. and I propose we use your term “fluffy bits” instead of blog, blogpost, weblog or wordpress. “TTDdotfluffybitsdotcom”–has a ring to it.

    • I love to read your fluffy bits, too, TTD. (Wait. That sounds rather naughty.) Got some beers and a bottle of old whisky waiting. As soon as I go outside and grab Averil and wrangle her in here, we’ll meet you on the dance floor.

  10. I’m the one looking for the cake. Where’s the cake? Oh, I’m also feeling proud to know so much more of you through your words. Thank you for sharing. And a multitude of congratulations.

  11. I’m the one in her car, all dressed up and afraid to come inside.

    Happy blog-birthday! I’m so glad to have discovered you and your beautiful stories. You inspire me every time.

  12. jessica

    Happy birthday to both of you!

  13. You struck me as someone who
    had been doing this a lot longer.
    Happy Blogday!

  14. My most sincere congratulations to your baby blog. It is wise beyond its years.

    I’d be the one with the bustle skirt and tiara, arm-wrestling all comers for the potato salad.

    I know I’m late, but can I assume that everyone is still in a drunken stupor?

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