An Ending, A Beginning

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Much is afoot!  By some miracle or conjunction of the planetary spheres, my wife's and daughter's Italian visas were delivered early this morning to our current address by armed escort, complete with helicopter and fixed-wing aircover, mustachioed and sunglassed security guards and a reed thin gentleman with speckled-trout eyes who kept repeating the words "It is time..." over and over again in an oily voice.

OK, OK.  It was actually just the FEDEX guy, but it was pretty durn exciting anyway!  It means we can depart for Sicily as a family unit this evening, which is not only fabulously cool, but is an eleven on the one-to-ten "Phew!" scale!

As we leave U. S. soil enroute to a new life overseas, it seems appropriate to stand and reflect on where we've come from, where we're going.  This blog has been a big part of my life since January, when I was living out of a single-wide in the middle of Baghdad, feeling like I'd never get home, and scribbling daily in the hopes that words would lead me out of the desert and toward a new life.  It's funny, but that is exactly what has happened, and I couldn't be more satisfied.

Along with the geographic and real life milestones, there have been some writing and blog-related accomplishments also.  I recently put up my hundredth post.  There are now more than 200 of you following me (I tell you in all honesty that I never expected to have more than 2 followers, let alone 200!).  I have embarked on writing a novel--which is a journey that I hadn't even considered a year ago.

So it seemed somehow fitting that Summer  recently gifted me with this awesome award:


The award is the Journey Support Award--one I've not seen before--and is passed on to folks who are helping along on this writing journey.  If you don't know Summer, you really should make a trip over to her place and check her out.  Her upbeat and insightful posts have been a constant source of inspiration for me personally, and I am certain that is true for many others too.  Thanks for the award Summer!  I really appreciate it.

As I write this, it strikes me that there seems something strangely serendipitous about all these happenings.  The last half-year or so has been nothing but a blast, primarily because of the generous support and encouragement of so many of you, and I think that can't be an accident.

Therefore, I want to pass this on to all those great writers and bloggers who have been a part of Where Sky Meets Ground.  I thank you all from the bottom of my heart--truly!--for making this writing trip so fun and for helping me to find the confidence to believe in myself.  Perhaps I don't need to say it, but in one way or another, all of you have inspired me, and for that I am genuinely grateful.  Here goes (in no particular order)!

Lydia & Joe's The Sharp Angle
Karen's Eternal Moonshine of a Daydreaming Mind
Claire's Points of Claire-ification
Roni's Fiction Groupie
Tara's Feel Of Something New
Christi's A Torch In The Tempest
Postie's The Sententious Vaunter
SJS's Writing In The Wilderness
Scott's A Writer's Blog
Lola's Sharp Pen/Dull Sword
Emily's The Chronicles of Emily Cross
DL's Cruising Altitude
Portia Sisco
Liza's Middle Passages
Carol's Carol's Prints
Simon's Constant Revision
Courtney's Southern Princess
Brian Keaney's Dreaming In Text
Elana Johnson
Schmidty's SM Schmidt
Heather's See Heather Write
Travener's The Big Litowski
Christine's The Writer's Hole

Thank you all so very much, and of course, stay groovy!

P.S.  I've absolutely no idea what internet access will be like in Sicily, so I may be off the net for a few days, but rest assured, we'll talk again soon.

30 bolts from the blue:

Liza said...

Thank you JP. Back at you. Wishing you a safe trip and more inspiration from Sicily.

Summer said...

Hope your trip is safe and entertaining! So glad the visas came through in time. :-) Look forward to hearing from you across the pond...

Lydia Sharp said...

Thanks, JP! The mutual support of writers has always amazed me and I'm eternally grateful to more people than I would have ever imagined when I first started my journey. :)

Emily Cross said...

ohhh i'm so jealous!! Italy is just amazing, hope you've a wonderful time!

Ejoy the food!!

Thanks also for the lovely award :)

and comment of course

Scott said...

I say . . . thanks, and so glad it wasn't another Sugar Doll award. I'm still in therapy over that one! Ha!

Simon C. Larter said...

You rock, good sir! Thanks for passing on the award to me. Here's wishing you safe travels to Sicily!Have a glass of wine for me when you get there, eh?

Cheers! *clink*

Travener said...

Gosh, thanks. Have a great time in Italy (veramente, non e possibile non fare). Keep an eye on Etna!

Lola Sharp said...

I'm so happy that their visas came through, albeit the last second.
Safe travels to you and your family.

I'm honored, JP, thanks. This writers community is indeed wonderful. I'm glad we're on this journey together.

Courtney Barr - The Southern Princess said...

JP - I am beyond honored by this acknowledgement. Getting to know you has been a treasure for me and I look forward to notes from Sicily, tales of crazy travels and the wonderful writing that you are working on.

This community has given me more than I ever expected or hoped for. I am thankful every day to be a part of it.

So happy the visas came through - safe travels, be sweet & keep smiling - this next phase in your journey is going to be a great one, I can feel it.

Visit My Kingdom Anytime

Roni @ FictionGroupie said...

Thank you so much for the award! Wishing you and your family safe travels. Enjoy the new adventure!

Carolina Valdez Miller said...

Darling, you are a dearheart. Thank you for thinking of me! I'm so flattered. And congrats on receiving the award yourself.

I wish you and your family the best on this journey of yours. I'm a bit envious, I should say, but I look forward to seeing all the photos and reading all about it. What an amazing adventure.

Okie said...

Just stumbled across your blog today and I'm enjoying it. Sounds like you've got a fantastic adventure ahead of you in the immediate future. Enjoy your trip across the pond and have fun getting settled in. :)

Claire Dawn said...

I really REALLY want to go to Italy. And a friend of mine from back home just moved there. Now you. Ack! Temptation, temptation!!!

Enjoy it! And thanks for the award. :)

Claire Dawn said...

By the way, every ending is a beginning. It's so sad, but also exciting! :)

Kathi Oram Peterson said...

Wow! Moving to Italy. What an awesome experience. Stay safe and enjoy the journey!

sarahjayne smythe said...

Congrats on the award. It's very well deserved. And thank you for passing it on to me. Have a safe journey and enjoy your time with your family.

Heather said...

Thanks, JP! I honestly feel the same right back to you. I won't forget the day your name appeared in my comments and I thought, "WOW! A boy reads this blog!" And then some other boys followed your lead, but I'm pretty confident that you were the first.

Have a safe move, and enjoy yourself!

Postman said...

Thanks for the award, good sir! You keep writing and we'll keep reading.

Meghan Ward said...

Have a safe trip. I've never been to Southern Italy. Do keep us updated on all the wonderful sites and delicious food you'll be partaking in!

Tara said...

Thanks for the award, JP.

I am thrilled for you all that those visas came through. Yea :)

Christine H said...

Thank you so much, Jon Paul! I wish you and your family all the best in Italy. It's a huge adjustment, but a very exciting one as well. All my best to your wife.

(Does she know you're picking up all these women followers on the Internet? Just kidding.)

Portia said...

Aw, shucks, thanks JP! I'm so glad to be on this writing journey with you. Safe travels.

SM Schmidt said...

Aww take care & safe flight! Thank you for the mention and right back at you. I know it felt great the first time I saw a comment from you since it wasn't just another spammer plugging their own thing.

Jon Paul said...

Liza, Summer, Lydia--Thanks.

Emily--I'd happily trade a manicotti for some great fish and chips any day of the week, and twice on Friday. But yeah, it promises to be good.

Scott--Me too!

Simon--I will. Full report to follow.

Trav--Will do. And I'm hoping the Italian will come.

Lola, Courtney--Me too. This is a fantastic online community, isn't it?!?

Roni, Carol--Thank you kindly.

Okie--Thanks and welcome aboard.

Claire--If you're thinking about heading this direction, let me know. I'm sure we can work out a way to get together.

Kathi, SJ--Thank you very much, ladies.

Heather--I had no idea I was the first, but your blog's draw was obvious, so it wasn't a hard decision to join the conversation.

Postie--Will do.

Meghan--Thanks and I will.

Tara, Christine, Portia and Schmidty--Grazie!

Thank you all for taking the time out of your busy days to stop by and share your thoughts. It makes all the difference!

And rest assured, there'll be much more to follow on my traveling adventures.

DL Hammons said...

JP ~ I'm honored to be included in your list and return all of your sentiments. The relationships we form out here amongst the electrons are to be savored and never minimized. Together we will push each other to become better writers...and in the process...better friends! :)

Jojomama said...

You really have had some big things going on.
I'm excited to hear that you are starting a novel. Best of luck with your relocation to Italy (my mom's family is from Italy) and on your novel writing journey. (One I know well.)

Houston A.W. Knight said...

This is an awesome blog...so glad I found you...I'll be back for sure!

Hawk

Jon Paul said...

DL--I couldn't agree more, man!

Jojo--Thanks. More to follow on the novel.

Hawk--Welcome and grazie for the kind remarks!

Thank you all for stopping by.

FurnaceGirl said...

It was really pretty tense there for a while. No telling if Muffin and I were going to be able to go or not. Our whole move has been one crazy thing after another. I agree, it was definitely an 11 on the "PHEW" scale.

Lola Sharp said...

Hey JP, I just wanted you to know that I haven't forgotten your award...I plan to post it this Wed.

Hope y'all are getting settled in. :)

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