Ladies and gentlemen, today's regularly scheduled post on StorytellERdoc has been interrupted due to an emergency. Paramedics are currently performing CPR and applying defibrillator pads to my chest. Why, you might ask? Quite simply, I am shocked (yes, pun intended) at the recent events that have transpired with my blog.
It all started with a wonderful email I received on January 13 of this year.
"I have been reading your blog since early December and I have to say thank you for the most amazing writing. I shared your "Tupperware" piece with colleagues here and shared a link via Twitter; it got passed on so many times that it came back to me via people I don't know."
Now, how amazing is that? In and of itself, that was enough reward for me. But, kind Carrie continued.
"Congratulations on being nominated for awards on MedGadget.com --The 2009 Medical Weblog Awards Nominees. I have no affiliation with that blog or any of the blogs listed. I just happened to notice you made the cut and I was happy you did. Looking forward to future stories."
Say what? I was shocked. Pure mouth-gaping, breath-holding, sphincter-tightening shock. After reading this email a second time, though, I thought I might be getting pranked by one of my smart-ass friends. Why do I let those types into my life?
So, I clicked on the forwarding link and sure enough, there was my blog name, listed under two categories--"Best New Medical Weblog (est. in 2009)" and "Best Literary Medical Weblog."
I was even more shocked. And humbled. And honestly, happy beyond belief. I don't Twitter and I don't Facebook. And, although I enjoyed reading some excellent blogs here and there, I surely didn't know the first thing about blogging and computers in general.
Enter my creative writing group. An amazing group filled with the most impressive types of personalities. In fact, you will intimately meet all of these people in a future post (they should be very afraid!). Five of us, meeting weekly, submitting our works to be critiqued, dissected, reworked, and complimented amongst one another. Complete trust. It was this group that convinced me, after enough sharing of my silly stories, to write them in a format that might be shared with others. What? And put down my fiction novel that was two-thirds done? Are you crazy? Am I?
"Just do it," they said, led by Christine, our gifted and fearless leader. And so I did. Christine and I met for coffee, exchanging ideas, pictures, colors, and concepts and, before I knew it, she had completed my blog site. Thanks, Christine, for the awesome banner and site! And thanks to my wife, who helped me clear the rubble to come up with such a cool name.
Now, I just needed to put words to paper. How should I start? I worried myself too much because the minute I started writing, the stories streamlined from my fingertips to keys to computer screen. I LOVED writing my posts. But would others take to my words? And between work, family, my regularly scheduled life, and my stalled novel, when would I have time to write three stories a week? Would the sacrifice be worth it? In mid-November, 2009, I took the chance with my first post.
And quite simply, yes, it has been worth it. Ten-fold. No, a hundred-fold. Make that infinite-fold. Every early morning and late night, every struggle to capture that escaping thought and word, every rewrite--hell yeah, totally worth it.
Today, I learned that I have been named a finalist in the Medgadget Weblog Awards in both categories! Again, flabbergasted. And appreciative. I'm so naive that I didn't even know they narrowed the nominees down to six finalists. After showing my kids my name on the finalist list, they were beyond excited! At the prospect of winning an iTouch or to see my name on the list, though, I don't really know. But regardless, their smiling faces were my trophy. Thank you to the judges and all of you involved in my nominations for this very cool recognition.
I don't want to get mushy here, but I sincerely wish to thank you--my intelligent, faithful, funny, and cool reader. To be brutally honest, I have already felt more accolades than I ever expected, simply from your acceptance of me and my blog. I wish I could list and thank each of you personally.
Finally, I must mention the friendships. From the earliest comments on my first post, I am amazed at the number of incredible people I have met simply from commenting, from following blogs, and from privately emailing. Some of your personal stories are incredible, but all of your stories are memorable. And real. Thanks for the friendship and for allowing me a glimpse into your life and respecting your glimpse into mine.
I had hoped for my blog to be compassionate, humorous, heartfelt, and above all else, show the beautiful resilience and positive perspective of the human spirit in crisis. I hope I am succeeding.
Thank you, my friends...
As always, thanks for reading. If you get the chance, head over to Medgadget and vote. Thanks for your support. The next "regularly" scheduled post will be Friday, January 29. See you then. And to my little big girl, Gracie, Happy 9th Birthday! ILY