Friday, July 18, 2008

My favorite posts from The Beacon's first year

In anticipation of my upcoming blogoversary on Sunday, I thought I'd take a look at my Top 10 favorite posts from the first year of this blog (July 20, 2005-July 20, 2006)

Here they are in chronological order;

The Romance Police
January 9, 2006

I was deep into a revision of my still unpublished novel Prairie Fire, and I'd invited my friends to critique part of it.
This weekend I met with two of my best friends/critique partners whom I will call the Romance Police, duly sworn to make sure this writer delivers on the romantic promise of the novel, doesn't pull any punches in the emotions, and puts that emotion in dialogue where necessary and not summary narrative.

Another Day Like Today
March 6, 2006

Back in the days when Don MFH and I worked together, Don was in a band. I bought one of his CDs and popped it in my car stereo.
My car REALLY liked the album. For the next 20,000 miles or so, every time I started the engine, I'd hear "Another Day Like Today" whether I wanted to or not. It drove my husband crazy. Fortunately, there was a trick to bypass the tape player: Hit eject three times, and magically, the radio would play.
Coming out of the closet
March 6, 2006

This blog had been around several months before I ever told my family about it. I'm not sure who was reading it at all, really.
OK, I confess, I've been keeping my online work extremely low-key. I'm here to promote a book that I haven't sold yet. There's not much to promote, really. It's more of a time investment in the future.

But, I didn't realize that I'd kept it so low-key that my own husband didn't know about it. Surely, I'd mentioned it at some point... right?
One year on since Dad's death
April 11, 2006

Writing this post was a catharsis for me. It's long. But a year after his death, the step-by-step memories of what happened were still really strong, and I wanted to make sure I didn't forget.

This is the one paragraph that always gets to me because it puts me so clearly back into the emotion of the moment.
This was the point where I realized that we all deal with trauma in our own ways. We were in a religious hospital, but we could find no comfort in religion. Mom wanted her regular doctor there. She wanted to hear the options from him, because she knew him and trusted him. She wanted to hear from HIM that doing nothing and letting my Dad die was the right choice, was the ONLY choice. It was her decision to make, but she felt paralyzed without that consultation.

'Aneurysm Tests Urged in Older Men Who Smoked'
April 11, 2006

This was one of those times that I casually forwarded a health-related story to someone then forgot about it. You know the type of email I'm talking about.

I'd sent this to my Dad about two months before he had his aneurysm.
I didn't remember that I'd sent the email to my Dad until my sister found it in his email inbox days after he'd died. I'd prefaced it with "Just thinking about you, Dad. :) Love, Haley". We were all a little spooked at finding it.
Acting class = surprisingly fun
April 13, 2006

In an effort to really challenge myself by doing things that scare me -- like public speaking -- I signed up for an acting class.
I can't boast that I'm overly entertaining (although I do hear laughter at times) but I don't think I suck, either. I think improvisation is sort of like, as an author, writing a scene of dialogue. It's a matter of turning off the internal editor and just going with the thoughts that pop into your head. And, when you go blank, letting your partner take the lead for a little while, then you work off of what he or she has said.
A forte for comedy?
April 20, 2006

My acting class was working, and one lady actually paid me a very strong compliment.
As I sat down, one of the women, Paula, said to the class: "I don't know, Haley. When you started this class, you said it was because you had anxiety. Well, I don't see that. You've come out of your shell, and you certainly have a forte for comedy."
Funny Mike
April 27, 2006

When I saw a former coworker hosting an HGTV program, I had to look him up.
In the early 90s, Mike and I worked together on a package of business stories about Glamour Shots, those stores in the mall that will do your hair and makeup and take pictures. We both went and got the "makeover" and had our "before" and "after" photos published. His before photo is very nice. Mine is hideous. (It turns out they forgot to do his beforehand and scrambled at the end.) I've always had this fear that the photo package would someday show up on one of those "before they were famous" segments about Mike. It may yet happen. (Before you ask, my clip of it is buried deep in a box somewhere. Hard to locate. You'll have to go to microfiche.)
Tales of the MS Walk, dogs and sit-down strikes
May 8, 2006

That year we walked in the MS Walk as a team -- Me, Dave, Loki and Thor -- under the name Team Loki.
While the humans enjoyed it, a certain team-leading dog, whom we shall call "Pokey" Loki, thought it was way too hot, and after valiantly walking the first 2.5 miles, decided to put in a few protest sit-down strikes during the last half-mile. Her strikes were always staged in a cool shady place, especially if she saw a long open sunny stretch coming up ahead. (If she could talk, Loki would say something to the effect of: You try walking in the sun wearing a long, black fur coat. Oh sure, Thor did it, but he's an idiot. No common sense. Plus I'm bigger. And all that pulling on the leash takes more energy.)
Doesn't everyone Google her own name?
July 7, 2006

Because of this post, I was introduced to a few other women with the name Haley Hughes out there.
I look forward to seeing what happens with these other women named Haley Hughes. Is it weird to follow their lives through Google just because they share my name?

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