Bonjour, mes chers lecteurs ! Today, I am posting the 300th post here on Forty, C’est Fantastique. Can you believe it? This week also marks the “half-way” point for my forties. Gah! I have only 5 more years before I have to come up with a new title and I suppose, start a new blog! Forty-five is not really a “milestone” or anything, but for some reason, I’m feeling it. Not that forty is any less “fantastique” for it, just that it’s halfway over. Strange thought.
When I started Forty, C’est Fantastique, I had no idea what I was doing, or why, really. I found myself wanting an outlet for writing down my thoughts, and for shamelessly indulging in “my favorite things” which generally include “something French.” So I looked online for blogging platforms and found the “Zero to Hero” challenge here on WP. I thought, “why not?” and dove in. Shortly after completing this 30-day “intro to blogging”, I discovered the “A to Z April Challenge”. I encourage you to click on the link in the previous sentence because I have linked to a particular post in memory of Tina Downey, an A to Z VIP who passed away one year ago this week. I discovered the challenge partly through her blog, and even found that she and I had a common friend outside of the blogging world (who also has a website, btw). Through her work with the A to Z team, Tina really encouraged a lot of people, including myself, to get involved with blogging, to read and discover other bloggers and to just…write!
I have done the A to Z challenge twice now, which is a challenge created by Arlee Bird of “Tossing it Out” to write 26 posts in the month of April, one per day (with Sundays off), one post for every letter of the alphabet. It’s quite a commitment, actually, but with great rewards. The first year I did this, in 2014, I was a new blogger, and my greatest reward was the people I “met” that stopped by to read my ramblings. Many of these people are Vous, mes chers lecteurs ! A to Z is the biggest “blog hop” type event that I have ever participated in, and I do it because I enjoy the challenge and the people. Some of you have stuck around since the beginning, and kept reading, and for that I say merci mille fois ! For me, blogging isn’t about having a ginormous number of followers, but rather about the few that I feel a real connection with. I smile when I see your names in the comments; if you have a blog, I love seeing your new posts in the reader and am eager to see what you have written. Bloggers are like that 🙂
I have discovered that I love the “blog prompts” I find out there, and I participate in two of them on a regular basis: SoCS and One-liner Wednesday, both created by Linda G Hill.
I had the unique opportunity a few weeks ago, to meet face-to-face with one of my first readers, and someone who has kept on reading here, Sammy D of Bemuzin’. It was so wonderful to meet her after having read her blog for so long and to have swapped many comments back and forth! What joy to find that we could have the opportunity to share an afternoon at the Denver Art Museum, where the current special exhibit is called “In Bloom: Painting Flowers in the Age of Impressionism.” I adore the Impressionist painters, so seeing these works was a real treat!
And speaking of art, through her wonderful blog, Sammy introduced me to the art of Zentangle® a while back. It was with her encouragement that I bought some pens and tiles and a book and started “tangling.” Anyone can do this, even if you can’t “draw.” Truly. I’m living proof. The only thing I can draw is “stick” airplanes! Tangling is a very relaxing thing to do, and always yields up interesting looking results. So when we met, we exchanged “tiles” that each of us had drawn the “string” or what sort of passes for a framework for the art, something that ultimately kind of disappears into the work. We agreed to “tangle” or fill in the tiles with patterns, and post the results on our blogs. Sammy had some natural elements that she used for inspiration for the tiles that she gave me to work with (she gave me two, but I only had one to give her.) She gave me this inspiration (a leaf, a rock, and a piece of tree bark) as well as the tiles, and I have included the finished tiles as well as the natural elements in my photo. I had a great time doing this! So, at the top of this page are the tiles that Sammy began and I “filled in” and you can either click that picture or click here for her “mutual post” where she has filled in the tile that I began for her! I had so much fun, meeting her in person and doing this little project!
Doing these two tiles made me think about Sammy D, of course, but also about my blog, my readers in general, and what I can do with this space over the next five years. Tangling is a relaxing activity, and something you can do anywhere, so it’s a perfect thing for traveling. In regards to my blog and traveling, I have decided to open up a new page here, called “The September Tourist.” These two tangles of mine will be the perfect header picture for this page, which will be dedicated to my favorite manner of traveling. I am working on the first post for this page right now and will have it up today, I think! I hope you will like these posts, dear readers! I am also doing a little re-arranging of my space, here. “Forty-five” is a good reason for doing that, why not? Be patient as I move things around, maybe play with colors and layouts, and don’t hesitate to let me know in the comments what you think!
A très bientôt, mes chers lecteurs !