Usually, around this time of the year, I have already sent out invitations to folks inviting them to be a guest blogger in the upcoming year. I had a note from someone yesterday wondering if they had missed their invite. It never dawned on me to send a note to everyone explaining we weren't going to be doing a calendar for guest blogs next year - I apologize!!!
It's been a delightfully long run of pretty awesome guests, but has run its course, I think.
The first Meanderings and Muses post was July 25, 2008.
The first Meanderings and Muses guest blog was January 11, 2009.
And thus began the tradition of guests. A guest list which has been an impressive line up, if I do say so myself - including:
Lillian Stewart Carl
Cathy Lee Carper
Toni McGee Causey
Reed Farrel Coleman
Thomas H. Cook
Elizabeth Spann Craig
Mark De Castrique
Nancy Peterson Farina
Gerrie Ferris Finger
Libby Fischer Hellman
Sara J. Henry
Nancy Lynn Jarvis
Toni L.P. Kelner
N. J. Lindquist
Mary Jane Maffini
Radine Trees Nehring
Doris Ann Norris
Bronson L. “Bo” Parker
Hank Phillippi Ryan
Joanne Campbell Slan
Sylvia Dickey Smith
Pari Noskin Taichert
Miranda Phillips Walker
Nancy Means Wright
Oh, Lordy - if I have missed anyone or spelled someone's name wrong, blame it on holiday stress (or whatever). Just let me know, please, so I can fix it!
Not only has Meanderings and Muses had a great list of guest bloggers, I've had some fun and insightful commenters. Oddly enough, more of the comments have been sent to me directly rather than in the posts, which means I've gotten to know some of you quite well over the years. You all enrich my life and I thank you.
It was fitting, I think, for Lesa to have been the final guest blogger, as she's one of those who's been here from the beginning. When I start looking at the names and see how many have come back every year, I'm quite gratified.
When I took a wild chance and sent out that first email inviting guests to come to Meanderings and Muses, I had no idea what I was doing.
Minutes after hitting "send" I started fretting.
I mean fretting like you would not believe.
I had gone so far out on a limb inviting some of the people I invited, I have no idea where the nerve came from for me to do that.
How embarrassing it would be for all those people to receive this audacious note and me not receive a single acceptance.
Instead, within those few minutes, the responses came pouring in. And next thing I knew I had a year's worth of guests scheduled.
As things go, I ended up going from one guest a month, to a guest a week. Then it was two guests a week, often with a third squeezed in.
We visited authors' spaces.
We met authors' pets.
We had conversations with 2 or 3 folks at a time.
We had people open their hearts to share good news, and some bad.
We've cried tears of joy and tears of pain.
And we've slowed down considerable on the guest posts while I've been writing.
But - Meanderings and Muses is still here. Different, but still here.
You've "listened" while I've ranted, and didn't leave me alone while I cried. And you've laughed with me.
You've read what I've written, and allowed me to share my opinions about books, politics, mean people and everything else under the sun.
You've allowed me to share my photography attempts, and stories about my family, my husband and my dog.
You've supported me through publishing two pieces in regional anthologies, a novel and helping Harley write his book.
Hopefully, there will be more of all that in our future.
The guest posts, sadly, are ending with Lesa's.
No more sending out that calendar at the end of the year asking what date(s) guests would like.
It's was a lovely and fun thing, but time to move on, I think.
Some of the guests have mentioned seeing a spike in sale while and immediately following their visits.
Many are still getting hits for posts they did several years ago.
While most posts have gotten an average of 350 - 400 hits, some have been much, much higher. The "winner" in the category of highest number of hits is Toni McGee Causey for a piece she did in 2010 - "Positive and Negative Spaces." It still being discovered and read today and has received close to 4,000 hits.
A lot of you know I have fought with exactly what Meanderings and Muses should be since Day One. Silly me. Meanderings and Muses is, always has been, and always will be whatever the day might bring. It is what it is. That's what it will continue to be.
But from now on we'll have no calendar to help us get through the year. We'll continue taking pictures, reading and talking about books, politics, food, music, the news, and whatever pops into my mind.
It's worked for almost seven years, we'll be here till I run out of things to talk about.
And, truth be told, I think you'll still see a guest here from time to time.
Someone, after all, might have a new book coming out they'll want to tell you about. We'll see.
In the meantime, I hope you'll continue to drop by. Some days, I'll be here, some days I won't. But I'll always be lurking just around the corner, soon to appear once again.