It’s my blog’s one-year birthday! To celebrate, take a look at some random stats and fun facts about Just the Fiction, Ma'am. Or feel free to send my blog chocolate cake. I hear blogs are pretty messy eaters, so I might eat some of it instead.
- 1 – number of posts (so far) that contain a secret code. There’s a very long story here.
- 3 – average number of times I read/edit each post.
- 8 – number of weeks I was without at laptop due to a seven-year-old throwing an exercise ball at my screen. Posts got a little sporadic in this era, breaking my consistency streak.
- 104 – total posts, not including this one, which somehow makes it look like I actually posted twice a week all year like I intended to, when I actually skipped several days (but I had bonus blog entries sometimes too).
- 200000 – approximate number of typos my friends caught and told me to fix, including one that I caught while compiling my favorite post list.
Here are ten of my favorite posts from the archives, in no particular order, with a little explanation of why. If you didn’t read every post (because who does, besides my mom?), or if you came in partway through the year, here’s an easy way to catch up.
Thanks for sticking with me for a year and reading some of my ramblings. It's been a lot of fun.
Quote: “This isn’t your typical blog post about rejection. It is not a list of authors whose famous works were turned down by multiple publishers. Look this up on Wikipedia if you want to make yourself feel better, but keep in mind that for every bestseller that was rejected, so was a poorly written manuscript. Rejection is no guarantee of greatness. Or, as Carl Sagan put it, ‘They laughed at Columbus, they laughed at Fulton, they laughed at the Wright Brothers. But they also laughed at Bozo the Clown.’”
Why It’s On the List: I love the feedback I got from various people about the VeggieTales reference. Also, this is one of the only posts that actually made me laugh. Mostly because when I read back over it, I couldn’t believe how ridiculous I was.
Quote: “Sometimes, I think we (middle-class Western Christians) feel the need to suffer more for our faith. So we haul in some artificial suffering by signing up for ministries that we aren’t gifted for and where we don’t feel called to serve…or by feeling guilty for doing something we love instead of becoming a missionary to Africa.”
Why It’s On the List: I got a lot of Facebook comments and emails about this one, hearing bits of people’s stories, which was really cool.
Quote: “I personally believe that if God looks at me someday and says “Well done,” it will not be for the things I think of first. It will not be for book contracts or confronting problems or giving hugs or baking cookies or listening to friends vent about their awful days, because I love doing those things. They’re acts of worship, sure. Using my gifts, definitely. But they’re easy. I think God will mention the hard things, the things that maybe no one noticed at the time.”
Why It’s On the List: This probably sums up themes that you’ll find in all of my other posts. It might be the closest thing to a manifesto that I have.
Quote: “While we complain about coffee-drenched mornings and schedules packed with obligations, we focus on the first picture of overcommitment. It’s cool to be busy. Everyone around us seems to be shouting boldly, like the font on circus-coming-to-town posters, all with the same message: Join the circus! Join the circus! JOIN THE CIRCUS!”
Why It’s On the List: I have to reread this post a lot, because I fall back into this trap over and over again.
Quote: “Often the main characters (*cough* pretty much all of the princesses except Belle) are fairly predictable and not all that interesting. But those bad guys, with their obligatory black-themed outfits and one dramatic song per movie, they capture people’s attention.”
Why It’s On the List: This group of three posts might be my favorite series. It also gets the prize for the blog post that most Google searchers are accidentally sent to. (the search term, “worst Disney villains” is becoming a key source of traffic for this blog).
Quote: “Right now, I have no answers. I have no joy. I am hurting and confused and full of regret, like so many others. I have come crying to God from the bottom of my heart, without anything to give, stripped of self-righteousness and security and thinking that everyone is fine like they always tell me.”
Why It’s On the List: This is my most-read post by a landslide, not because it was anything particularly well-thought-out or eloquent, but because it was honest and it was written at a time when we were looking desperately for words to express our feelings.
Quote: “Most people spend years studying psychology and getting fancy framed degrees in order to put together theories and tests like this. Me? I put on a sweater that resembles a lab coat and speak in a fake British accent as I planned out these questions (everyone knows British accents make you smarter).”
Why It’s On the List: This is my favorite quiz. I especially enjoyed comparing people’s reported results to characters I’ve written.
Quote: “Routine is the enemy of love. Maybe that’s one point to the story of the Good Samaritan: to love your neighbor, you have to do something that may be uncomfortable, that takes you outside of what is normal and causes you to sacrifice something.”
Why It’s On the List: Because I actually did the stuff that I said I was going to do, I now have several new friends in this dorm (some of whom probably still wonder why I hang around them so much). So many cool people! Social experiment for the win.
Quote: “For every old man who refuses to kneel to a dictator, there are hundreds of thousands who will look the other way and let evil win…as long as it only affects someone else. History tells us that deep down where it matters, we are not good. We are not heroes. But we want to be.”
Why It's On the List: This was the post that surprised me with how popular it was. It also helped me figure out how I can be a cynical idealist.
Quote: “Sometimes your persona, accurate though it may be, has to be put into perspective. Be a person first. Be a friend or a sister or a mentor or a concerned acquaintance or any identity label that is more about the other person than it is about you. Then, if it’s appropriate, you can be the class clown, the blunt guy, the witty one, or whatever it is that defines the way you interact with others.”
Why It's On the List: I just like this one, for some reason. That’s all.