So Long, Farewell, Auf Wiedersehen...
My oldest son received the Aaronic priesthood today. Exactly 182 years after Joseph Smith received it (May 15, 1829). It wasn't planned that way - his birthday was on Friday and today was simply the Sunday following his 12th birthday. But the coincidence seemed sort of profound to me, as I thought about how those two events were connected. How one couldn't have happened without the other. How a beginning for Joseph Smith made this beginning possible for my son.
So here we Frog Bloggers stand at a new beginning. A door is closing, but another door stands wide open, and I'm excited at the possibilities. But that excitement is tempered by the sadness and loss I'm also feeling.
Looking back to when the blog started, it was unique. Now there are many multi-author blogs, but back in the day, in the LDS market at least, it was just us. I had belonged to a message board where I had gotten to know Rob and Julie, both of whom were already published. Julie kindly read my first chapter and then gave me some pointers, and Rob gave me advice on where to submit (he strongly encouraged me to submit to Covenant. And I don't know if those two know this, but I included them both in my acknowledgments of my first book). Jeff and Stephanie also posted on the board, but I hadn't interacted as much with them. I got to know Jeff better when my manuscript was accepted, and we shared the same amazing editor, and Jeff had lots of advice and recommendations when it came to the LDS industry.
I approached Jeff, Julie and Rob with the idea for a group blog. They all seemed interested, and I thought we should get a couple more authors to give us each one day to blog. Rob immediately recommended Stephanie, because he was a fan and thought she was awesome, and Jeff thought we should add Candace Salima because of, among many other things, her marketing know-how. Candace stayed with us for a while until she had to leave (darn real life!), and fortunately it wasn't too difficult to choose her replacement - it seemed like just about everyone wanted to nab the amazing Kerry.
I'm so grateful to Jeff for his knowledge, his willingness to share it, his words of encouragement and his example. I've been the beneficiary of his compassion, kindness and wisdom. He rocks.
I'm thankful for Rob, for his humor, for his advice, for his dedication to LDS writers (Whitney Awards, anyone?), for his success. On my writing path, he's probably the person I've most related to. He also rocks.
I'm grateful to Stephanie, for her talent, for her sweetness and peacemaking abilities, for her wit, for not making me too jealous over the adventures she's had and awards she's won, and for thinking of me during one of my hardest trials. She is another who rocks.
I'm thankful for Julie, for her writing ability, dependability (the only one of us to blog every single week on her day!), for her ability to do it all and do it well, for her putting up with me when Hotmail wouldn't let her emails through, and for being such an incredibly nice and helpful person. She similarly also rocks.
I'm grateful for Kerry, who even while she was MIA, was still with us in spirit. Who has so much love for her fellow man, and has been such an incredible example to me. I'm thankful for her self-deprecating humor, for being so humble, for her strength in adversity. When I grow up, I would like to be Kerry Blair. She rocks hard, as well.
I love this eclectic bunch. Which feels a little strange, considering that I've never even met any of them in real life. I'm grateful that I met them online, that I got to work with them, and through them got to know so many of you. I'm thankful to all of you, who put up with my complaining, who posted words of encouragement when the light got dark, who said prayers for me and mine, who bought my books (yay!), who reviewed them (double yay!), who have followed our ups and downs and have stayed with us through it all. Gah, I actually just got teary. I never do that.
It's not good-bye. I will see you all in cyberspace, and this is probably going to force me to go to the next Storymakers conference, although I will no longer be cool as I won't have the Frog Blog to back me up. You can find me on Twitter (@sariahwilson) and sometimes I post on Facebook ("sometimes" being a lot less often than I blogged).
I'm going to start a personal blog, that I will probably post to sporadically (although my intentions will be to post regularly), but I have to pick a name. Something clever. Any suggestions?
On a final note, we're not taking the blog down. So I leave you with this wealth of their knowledge (and my complaints) and thank you again for traveling this road with us.