I, too, like so many in the blogosphere, am incredibly sad that this is the last blog hop for Ketchup With Us…at least for awhile. Hosted by Michele at ODNT and Mel at According to Mags, this blog hop was the very first one I participated in, and it is one of only a few I have contributed to in the last 8 months that I have been writing. I truly hope that the ladies will be back in their Ketchup suits in the near future.
Before I knew anything about Ketchup With Us, I would see that some of my Twitter friends were taking part in it, and that the names ODNT and According to Mags were attached to it. I looked them up. I found their posts interesting and entertaining to read, and I couldn’t help but be curious about them. However, not having written anything but a work blog – that was largely short “bits” I had discussed on the radio briefly, and very little about me – I thought there was no way I could join in on the fun that was Ketchup With Us.
It was not until January, when I saw Michele’s Twitter post about the latest blog hop about goals for the new year, that I decided to jump in. It was the best thing I could ever do for my writing. Both Michele and Mel were encouraging and enthusiastic, and they’ve been exactly that ever since. To have these two immensely talented writers cheer me – a blogger just starting out – on as I found my voice was a confidence-building experience.
And that first blog about goals for the new year also pushed me to do things I might not have done, including self-publishing a children’s book in February, with another almost ready to hit the Blurb website right now, and a third to be done before the end of the year. If I hadn’t written, in that first blog, that I wanted to do things that I am passionate about, I very likely wouldn’t have written anything, especially a children’s book, or even started a blog. I had specifically listed recording a CD as the thing I was passionate about and going to do before the end of the year, and that hasn’t happened yet, but I still have a few months left, right?! The blog hop made me make a promise to myself that I was going to make the most of 2014 and my time off from a very demanding (time consuming) career of teaching high school English. I have Ketchup With Us, and specifically Mel and Michele, to thank for the things I have accomplished this year.
I also have them to thank for the bloggers I have been introduced to through the blog hop, whose work I always look forward to reading, and who, too, have been encouraging and supportive. The Ketchup With Us blog hop has been a place where I have felt comfortable and welcome. It is an inviting community of bloggers. That’s because of the hosts, Mel and Michele.
Mel and Michele, thank you again, and I hope you understand how AWESOME you are.