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10 Years of Blogging

Yes, this blog has been going for TEN years. The very first post went like this:

Speech is Silver; Silence is…

…not golden. Just a fake gold that soon dulls.  Like the necklace I bought in Cyprus. They told me it was gold. I knew they were lying, but I bought it anyway. I felt I had to buy something because they gave me tea….

I’ve been keeping silent for most of my life. It’s time to talk.

So tune in again, keep in touch and don’t suffer in silence.

A lot has happened to me in those ten years.

I began the blog anonymously, and eventually ‘came out.’ I was afraid of negative comments, but so far there haven’t been any.

I’ve had short stories and three… almost four… books published.

And I talk – not so much in conversations, but through my books and even in presentations. Slowly but surely, I’m telling the world about social anxiety.

Miriam Drori - Presentation on Social Anxiety

P.S. Not all my stories involve social anxiety.

EDIT: I was happy to receive this from WordPress:

Happy Anniversary from WordPress

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AlmondasJourneyThe last post on this blog was two months ago. Time for a catchup.

November was NaNoWriMo, that month of the year when an ever growing number of people around the world try to write a novel in a month. Those who despise it haven’t got it, I think. The result is only a first draft. It’s not for anyone else to read and definitely not for publication. I didn’t manage to “win” this year, but I had a great time creating thirty-something thousand words that will form a basis for a new novel… when I can find time to work on it.

In Cambodia

Photo by David Drori

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Then we went away, to Vietnam and Cambodia, two countries I never expected to visit, given what I heard about them all through my childhood and beyond. The trip was wonderful.

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What’s happening now? Well, I’ve been featured on a few blogs:

Many thanks to Social Anx, Jess B. Moore, Val Penny and Lizzie Chantree for those.

I’m editing another novel. (Someone else’s novel.)

I’m still working on a novel of mine that I thought I’d finished.

And I’m making plans for 2019. One of those is for a new feature on this blog, called SIM Talks. Watch this space for more about that.

I hope you’re all enjoying life as much as I am and wish you all the best for

2019

Remember my New Year rhyme? Here it is again:

Three Years a Year

I pity the people with only one year,
Who end it all merry, never shedding a tear.
They have to say so many things in one go,
To one year goodbye, to another hello.

They try to reflect on the year that has passed,
While also looking forward to the one that is fast
Approaching… nearly… almost… it’s here!
Resolutions transferred from yesteryear.

In Israel, you see, we celebrate three
And each, in its character, is solitary.
Different, special and unique,
They make us happy, thankful and… meek?

Rosh Hashana is one of those.
With all its rules, it keeps us on our toes,
Requesting forgiveness for our sins.
That’s “our” for humanity; not just kins.

Then we join with the world and celebrate, too,
Although some disagree and think it’s taboo.
Sylvester, it’s called, I used to know why.
It matters not when I’m feeling high.

What, you may ask, is number three?
It’s the one that marks the year of the tree.
Goes under the name of Tu B’Shvat.
We plant more trees, sing songs. That’s that?

Well no, we give presents of nuts and fruit,
And we eat same with much relish to boot.
So whatever New Year is appropriate for you,
I hope it is happy and fulfilling, too!

 

Have you noticed how often this can happen? Something that just came up, either for the first time or after a long break, suddenly comes up again. There must be a term for this effect, but I don’t know what it is. Can anyone enlighten me? And is it really what it seems or is it just that these things happen all the time but only occasionally are we surprised by them?

We watched the film: Brief Encounter. It’s dated and in black and white, but we enjoyed it. Afterwards, we discussed the things that have changed since those days – money (units and amounts), steam trains, attitudes and the way the characters spoke. Did they really speak like that in those days? The answer, gleaned from other old recordings we’ve heard (as well as our memories), was a resounding Yes! We even remembered the term for such speech: received pronunciation.

briefencounter

The very next day, I saw that term again in this post by Jean Davison. The post, by the way, was written four years ago, but Jean has been thinking about its content recently, and I agree with its message.

Then I listened to The News Quiz on BBC Radio 4. The latest episode contains jokes about long delays on the UK’s Southern Rail. The panel speculated about how films might be different if Southern Rail were involved. Round the World in Eighty Days could be a race between someone going all the way round the world and someone traveling from Brighton to London. The Railway Children would be The Railway Middle-Aged People. And Brief Encounter? Well, they’d give up trying to get back to their families and stay together. If I hadn’t watched the film, I wouldn’t have understood that joke.

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I’m about to do something for the first time. Probably the last time, too. And because of that, this blog will be quiet for a while. Bye for now!

Disclaimer: this post is in no way political. (Well, that’s almost true.)

It’s time for a CHANGE. I’ve been feeling that for a while. It’s time to make that happen. Let me explain.

History of An’ de walls came tumblin’ down

The Point of the Blog

I began this blog over seven years ago when I was in a very different place. I wanted to write about writing and about social anxiety – especially social anxiety. It had been my ambition for some time to tell the world about this common but little-known disorder. I began anonymously, because I was afraid  of negative reactions. (In all seven years, I haven’t had any at all.)
ClosetGradually, as I became more confident, I added my first name, then my whole name. And with that came the other secret: I live in Israel – the place I felt everyone loves to hate. I don’t know whether that turned anyone off, but I still had readers after that revelation. And some readers even said they wanted to know more about what living in Israel is really like. So I added a category: Everyday Life in Israel, because I was scared to mention anything controversial.

Only occasionally – very occasionally – I felt I needed to write about something more serious. And I put it under Everyday Life in Israel, because that was all there was, even though the serious topic was far from ‘everyday.’

So, for me, as far as this blog goes, the walls did come tumbling down. In real life, well, that’s much harder, especially after nearly fifty years of SA.

Swerving Off the Path

Then, at the beginning of 2014, I received some wonderful news: my novel, Neither Here Nor There, was going to be published by Crooked Cat. I was thrilled… ecstatic. I’m still very grateful and happy that Crooked Cat accepted me and my novel.

Letters from Elsewhere

Farewell, for now

From that time, I became a member of a large and ever-growing community of writers. Many of those lovely writers hosted me on their blogs and I hosted them on mine. I started the series Letters from Elsewhere, in which characters sprang out of books to share their letters or to write directly to blog readers. It turned out to be popular among the writers.

During those two-and-a-half years, I hardly wrote about Israel or about social anxiety. I lost sight of the point of this blog and it became just another writer’s blog. Don’t get me wrong – there are many blogs that are solely about writing and are interesting, because their owners do it much better than I can. But I had a different purpose for starting this blog and it’s time to return to it – not as that frightened, anonymous individual who began it, but openly, as me: Miriam Drori, an author who lives in Jerusalem and who still lives with social anxiety, as do many others all over the world.

What’s New?

As well as social anxiety and Israel, I will talk about writing – my writing, starting with some very exciting news that hasn’t even made it onto this blog yet. I will also mention my fellow authors, at the end of each post, with links to their blogs and books.

With that decision in mind, I have changed some of the categories. That will be a problem for old posts, but it needed to be done.

There may still be guest posts; I’m hoping there will be. But guests will have to relate to Israel (or Jews) or social anxiety in their posts.

This decision isn’t set in stone. If you have any further ideas, do let me know and I’ll consider them.

 

Many thanks to Roland Clarke, who has nominated me for

LiebsterAward1

the Liebster Award. I have a lot of respect for Roland. He set himself an amazingly difficult theme from the A to Z challenge and still managed to complete it. I learned a lot about him from his answers to the Liebster Award questions.

I received this award once before, a long time ago. I don’t remember it being so difficult then. I shall attempt to complete all the  tasks.

Rules of the Liebster Award

  • Thank the person who nominated you, and post a link to their blog in your post.
  • Display the award on your blog — by including it in your post and/or displaying it using a “widget” or a “gadget”.
  • Answer 11 questions about yourself, which will be provided to you by the person who nominated you.
  • Provide 11 random facts about yourself.
  • Nominate 5 – 11 blogs that you feel deserve the award, who have a less than 1000 followers. [Some claim that this is a flexible rule, so I’m ignoring it.]
  • Create a new list of questions for the nominees to answer.
  • List these rules in your post (copy and paste from here). Once you have written and published it, you then have to:
    Inform the people/blogs that you nominated that they have been nominated for the Liebster Award and provide a link for them to your post so that they can learn about it (they might not have ever heard of it!).

11 Questions Roland Set Me

  1. Do you have goals for your blog? What are they?
    I want to continue to connect with people through the blog. I want to explain more about entities that are often misunderstood: me, social anxiety, Israel and more. If readers of my blog also buy my novel, I won’t complain.
  2. Do you have a blogging schedule?
    The series Letters from Elsewhere appears every Friday morning. Other posts appear whenever.
  3. I can hardly resist a blogging challenge. Do you participate in many?
    I try to keep away from them, but the A to Z challenge tugs at me every year. Blogging challenges have a lot of uses, but my main task is to write and publish novels.
  4. What is your favourite way to interact with other bloggers?
    There are lots of ways to interact. What I like best is when an online friend becomes an offline (face-to-face) friend.
  5. What is your own personal favourite of your own blog posts, and why?
    I’ve been blogging for seven years and have posted 679 posts (including this one). I’ve narrowed my favourites down to one month: January 2010. Any of those six posts could be my favourite.
  6. What kind of blogs do you like to read the most?
    Humour (of the sort I enjoy), stories, interesting facts. I enjoy many kinds of blogs, but tend to skim long posts due to a lack of time. (I didn’t choose the length of this post.)
  7. Where would you most like to visit?
    I’d most like to visit faraway friends, including those in Canada and Australia.
  8. If you could have any kind of pet, what would it be?
    We had a cat for about ten years and enjoyed that. But we don’t particularly want another pet.
  9. If you could choose to live in another time, when would you choose?
    I don’t think we’ve ever had it so good.
  10. Would you change your chosen career path?
    Being a writer? No! The previous jobs? No. They provided good experience and they paid fairly well. They were also mostly enjoyable for most of the time.
  11. Do you have a favourite book that you re-read?
    No. There are books I’ve loved, but I have a long list of books to be read and I don’t read quickly.

11 Random Things About Myself

  1. I love milk chocolate filled with orange-flavoured cream.
  2. Of all the countries I’ve visited, Egypt is the most impressive. I wish I could go back.
  3. I have never skied and I don’t intend to.
  4. I have an A-level in Music, Grade 8 in piano and Grade 6 in violin. (But don’t ask me to play anything now.)
  5. I was about fifty when I realised that what happened to me at school is called bullying.
  6. I was born in London, but spent the first eighteen months of my life in a boarding school near Wallingford. I wish we could have stayed there.
  7. If you don’t know the difference between “its” and “it’s”, you might cause me to tear out my hair.
  8. I have a few grey hairs and I don’t care. (But I know I’m lucky in that regard.)
  9. I like multi-coloured flowers.
  10. I’ve only ever written one poem that doesn’t rhyme.
  11. I find it hard to think of random things. I’m not a random person.

Multi-colouredFlowers

I Nominate

Only if you want to do this. There’s no compulsion.

  • Carol @ My Writing Journal, who managed to make her A to Z posts about writing interesting, even to someone who’s read a lot of writing posts.
  • Jennifer @ Tales from the Notepad, marine biologist, amateur historian and now an author, too.
  • Ailsa @ The Bingergread Cottage, author, yarn-freak, teddy-orphanage matron, motorbike rider, shaman, …
  • Any other blogger who wants to take up the challenge. (I will add you to this list.)

Questions for Nominated Bloggers

  1. How old is your blog?
  2. What’s your main reason for blogging?
  3. Does your blog have a theme/themes?
  4. Do you have a blogging schedule?
  5. Which sort of posts gets the most comments/views?
  6. Which is your personal favourite of all your blog posts?
  7. Do you write many guest posts? Why?
  8. Do you host many guests on your blog? Why?
  9. Have you/would you post self-made videos on your blog? Why?
  10. What was your greatest blogging failure and what did you learn from that?
  11. What about your proudest blogging achievement?

Again, thank you, Roland for including me in your list of nominees and many thanks to all the lovely bloggers out there.

I nearly forgot: today is my blog birthday.

Seven years ago today, I posted this:

Speech is silver, silence is…

…not golden. Just a fake gold that soon dulls.  Like the necklace I bought in Cyprus. They told me it was gold. I knew they were lying, but I bought it anyway. I felt I had to buy something because they gave me tea….

I’ve been keeping silent for most of my life. It’s time to talk.

So tune in again, keep in touch and don’t suffer in silence.

And I’ve been talking ever since. Thank you for listening!

A-Z ChallengeYes, it’s finally time to reveal my theme for the A-Z Challenge this year.

In 2011, I didn’t have a theme. I posted mainly on the themes of this blog: writing and social anxiety.

In 2012, I wrote about places in Jerusalem.

In 2013, my theme was memoir writing. I learned a lot that year. One day, I might put that knowledge to use.

In 2014, I highlighted authors, including some of my new friends all published by Crooked Cat.

In 2015, ….

atoz-theme-reveal-2015

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Writing Historical Fiction

I will publish 26 posts on the theme of writing historical fiction. I’ve never written historical fiction and don’t know much about it, so I’m hoping all you experts out there will help me by adding comments to my posts. I’m really excited to be doing this and I do have a little idea about where this might lead.

And…

Happy Birthday!

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This blog is six years old today.

This was my first post:

Speech is silver. Silence is…

…not golden. Just a fake gold that soon dulls.  Like the necklace I bought in Cyprus. They told me it was gold. I knew they were lying, but I bought it anyway. I felt I had to buy something because they gave me tea….

I’ve been keeping silent for most of my life. It’s time to talk.

So tune in again, keep in touch and don’t suffer in silence.

So much has happened since then. Thank you for being part of it.

2013FestivalOfLight3

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