Tag Archives: blogging

Insignificant Things

28 Dec

IMG_4675For the first time in weeks, I find myself completely alone in the house. No kids, no husband, just me and the dog. As a functional introvert who constantly pines for alone time, I should consider this to be a minor post-Christmas miracle. Oddly though, I find this unexpected quiet to be strangely unnerving. I even feel a bit lonely.

I attribute my current unease to the fact that it’s been so crazy around the Mireles household over the holidays with a steady stream of people coming and going (we had sixteen people for Christmas dinner) that I’ve done nothing but shop, cook, clean, wrap presents, entertain small children and do about six loads of laundry each day. I guess I’ve become so accustomed to the constant noise and commotion that now the silence feels thunderous.

A recent sunset in Santa Barbara.

A recent sunset in Santa Barbara.

But that’s just me—always longing for something I don’t have or not appreciating what I do. Being dissatisfied is a tough habit to break and for much of my adult life I’ve had to work really hard at being grateful. This is really the most ridiculous thing ever because the real truth is that compared to most of the world, I live a privileged and abundant life.

What’s most remarkable is that I’ve discovered when I post something on my blog, my gratitude meter begins to rise. I believe this is because in the process of writing and posting photographs, I’m compelled to think about all the good I have in my life and I become more cognizant of the wondrous beauty that presents itself to me every day. And you, dear readers, are largely responsible for allowing me this chance to become more aware and mindful of my good fortune. For this gift I humbly offer you my thanks.

My best junior high school girlfriends during our annual beach house get together.

My best junior high school girlfriends during our annual beach house get together.

Paper origami cranes in a local church created to honor the many lives lost in mass shootings.

Paper origami cranes in a local church created to honor the many lives lost in mass shootings.

I hope that for all of you the coming year is filled with hope, love and deep gratitude for all of the grand events and milestones that may come to pass, but even more importantly, gratitude for all of the insignificant things that make up the moments of our days—the ones we pay little attention to—but are ultimately responsible for making our lives that much more extraordinary.

I so appreciate your readership.

The amazing sunset at the Santa Barbara Harbor where Rene and I had dinner recently.

The amazing sunset at the Santa Barbara Harbor where Rene and I had dinner recently.

Yours,

Jessica

 

Christmas Eve dinner with my beautiful family.

Christmas Eve dinner with my beautiful family.

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Three Years of Literary Bliss

5 Sep

photo (35)Three years ago today, I published my first blog post. To be honest, it was a momentous experience for me as it was my first real step in believing that I could actually refer to myself a writer. Since that decision to expose myself literally to the world (yes, pun intended) I’ve grown and changed quite a bit as a writer.

When I first began blogging, I would spend three to four days working on a post, revising, amending, altering, and rearranging the words until there was no possible editing left to do (or so I thought.) My posts were usually WAY too long and often focused on the many deep thoughts I felt I needed to share with the world about my angst-ridden childhood or my skewed sense of self-worth. Whew—it was heavy stuff, and in retrospect I believe I owe you all a very big thank you for slogging through it and then being kind enough to leave me a comment.

These days, I don’t post nearly as often as I did three years ago. My latest posts are much shorter in length (you’re welcome) or maybe they’re just photographs. As I spend the bulk of my free time working on my novel, I usually don’t have the energy or time to write weekly posts and it’s almost a miracle if I publish once a month.

I get advice from other writers that it’s important to keep at the blogging. You’ve got to get your name out there! Build up that fan base! Get that mailing list organized! That way, if my novel is ever published—wait—I take that back—WHEN my novel is published, I’ll be able to market it more efficiently.

GAH! That’s the hard part—I hate that idea of posting just to get “out there.” I’m told that with all the changes taking place in publishing these days, authors have to really work hard to get their novels recognized, but the idea of self-marketing somehow rubs me the wrong way.  And I don’t want to post just for the sake of posting—I want to share only when I have something really interesting to write about.trailing vines

Today, what I think is interesting and what I choose to write about is that it’s my three year blogging anniversary and I’ve come a long way since I started. I’ve met some very interesting people along this journey and I hope to meet many more. Thank you all for reading, for commenting, for supporting and for following me.

And just so you know, each and every one of your names will be listed on the acknowledgement page WHEN my novel is published.

Cody will also have his name listed as he keeps my feet warm while I write.

Cody will also have his name listed as he keeps my feet warm while I write.

A Joyous Season

24 Dec

mexican starFrom the bottom of my heart I’d like to wish you all a very joyous holiday season and may the coming year be filled with so many blessings that you won’t be able to count them all.

I would also like to express how thankful I am for your readership; for taking the time to leave a comment to let me know you’ve read my latest blog post; for all of your encouragement with my writing, and for just being a part of my life–cyber or otherwise!

With heartfelt gratitude,

Jessica

Here are a few photographs of what is special to me about this time of year…

Paper snowflakes that my daughter, Leah made for the front window

Paper snowflakes that my daughter, Leah made for the front window

Isa as Mary in the church play

Isa as Mary in the church play

Isa looking through the front window
Isa looking through the front window

The lights in our front yard
The lights in our front yard

Peppermint cupcakes!
Peppermint cupcakes!

My Big Anniversary

31 Aug

I love anniversaries. I especially enjoy marking a particular date in time because it allows me to think about and feel grateful for what has come around again. I don’t usually place too much emphasis on the actual celebration of anniversaries as I’m kind of an introvert and don’t care for the idea of being the center of attention at a huge party. That being said, I would never turn down a piece of cake (or two) when celebrating any anniversary, and I sincerely believe that the person responsible for choosing cake as the symbol for celebrations is a complete genius and all I have to say to that person is thank you very much.

The reason I got to thinking about anniversaries recently is because I’m coming up on a big one—no, it’s not my twenty-fifth wedding anniversary (did that in June), and no—it’s not my fiftieth birthday (did that in July) and no, it’s not even my seven year-old daughter, Isa’s five year anniversary of being cancer-free (did that in August, and by the way, hands down, it was the greatest anniversary I’ve ever celebrated in my life.)

The BIG anniversary that is coming up next week is that I’ve been blogging for an entire year.

Now, I know—you’re thinking: Whoop-de-do—BIG DEAL—everyone’s a blogger these days! Who cares?

And it’s true—throughout the past year I’ve read hundreds of blogs out there in cyber land and I’m sorely disappointed to report (pure jealously on my part) that there are many, many good—even great—writers out there, blogging regularly and making me laugh, making me cry, and even making me curse aloud and bang my fist on the desk (this is something I do frequently and is often very gratifying—I recommend it highly.)

What’s important about marking my one year blogging anniversary is that what I’ve experienced through blogging has changed me deeply. Through  the act of working through my ideas, writing them down, editing them, and then throwing them out there for you to read if you so have the inclination, I’ve learned a little bit more of who I am. As frightening as that’s been at times, it’s finally allowed me to learn to accept myself. In turn, it’s made it that much easier for me to let go of the hurts from my past. It’s just been damn good therapy! So thank you all for allowing me to be narcissistic and self-absorbed over the past year. I take full responsibility for my utter selfishness, and for this I apologize in earnest.

I’ve learned that blogging is all about connection with others. Through blogging, I’ve strengthened the relationships I have with my friends and family. I’ve reconnected with old friends, and even made new ones. I would’ve never imagined that I could form such a strong bond with a group of women writers from a Facebook group—and that after nurturing our cyber relationships through daily encouragement and support for each other for almost a year, six of us would manage to come together (one woman came all the way from New York!) and meet in person for the first time. It was thrilling and magical—you would have thought by the way we behaved in the restaurant with all the laughing and screaming that we were long-lost sisters who had been separated at birth!

So I want you to know how appreciative I am that you’ve read my blog posts and have left me such lovely and thoughtful comments. Only my fellow bloggers know how very exciting it is to hear my smart phone ding notifying me of an email that says:

 comment-reply@wordpress.com

telling  me that someone has left me a comment on my blog. It’s like receiving a special present each time it happens.

This connection I share with all of you has made me realize just how very lucky I am to have had this blogging experience over the past year. And now that I’m finally in that place where I’ve longed to be all of my life—the place where I can say that I’m actually happy—really blissfully happy, I’ll probably never write another blog post again.

Well, all right, I will.

If you insist.