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Flowers

I know I haven’t posted here in a while. Yes, life has been very busy for me but that is only part of the reason.

I have also been in a bit of a funk as of late, and being preoccupied with feeling sorry for myself has contributed to a writer’s block of sorts. I have felt somewhat uninspired to “put pen to paper”. Not that I didn’t have enough material, it’s just that feeling melancholy has left me with very little ability to enjoy some the things that I normally do, like cooking. And writing.

Meanwhile, I have been thinking a lot about my next post. I knew that I just needed to get back on that horse. “Writers write”, and all that. With so many ideas swirling in my head, but a lack of focus, the pressure I put upon myself in having to choose that first topic was so overwhelming that it just made things worse. And I continued to procrastinate.

Then I realized that I was approaching my one year blogoversary (yep, one year! I can hardly believe it – where does the time go?) The post that I have been needing to write for days pushed forward with urgency. But please don’t expect there to be cake, or a big celebration, or the giveaways that many others do when celebrating the birthday of their blog. The post that I really need to write is one that matches my recent mood – and it is inspired. Inspired by someone who will  never know how much she influenced me and this little blog.

One week ago today the Seattle community, and the world, lost an incredible woman. Kim Ricketts was the powerhouse behind the popular Kim Ricketts Book Events that I have regularly attended, and written about on this blog a few times.

Kim was a master connector – she connected people to ideas, information, community, and to other people, all through the joy of books. And she connected to and touched so many herself along the way.

Through Kim and her events I was able to meet some amazing people that I have come to call friends. For that, I can never be thankful enough.

Kim Ricketts Book Events

In addition, she introduced me to some people who left a lasting impression on me. Like Jennifer and Kerry, whose great workshop on writing a book proposal have motivated me to begin plans for that book I’ve wanted to write forever. I have dreamed about it since I was a child but never truly believed that I could ever complete a project that big. How daunting! But Kim always knew we could achieve anything we wanted in life and she encouraged us all.

Kim also made it possible for me to interview the captivating Laurie David about her wonderful book, The Family Dinner.  I had no idea the full power behind the concept of families sitting down for a daily meal together. Just the simple act of breaking bread can change your child’s outcome for success in school and life. Though in our house we have always made it a priority to sit down as a family and eat together, I was blown away by the fact that so many don’t and what a huge impact it can have. It has become so important to me that I spread this message. After I wrote this post, I sent a thank you to Kim and let her know how delightful I thought Laurie was. She wrote back – “YES! She is my hero.”

Well Kim, you are one of my heroes.

And though I only met her in person a couple of times and didn’t know her well, I conversed with her fairly regularly on Twitter. When I heard of Kim’s passing  a great wave of sadness washed over me. My Twitter stream was filled with post after post of disbelief  in her passing and I couldn’t stop crying as I read the outpouring of grief. I couldn’t help but think back to the last exchange of messages that I had with her. I had written this post for my husband on our anniversary professing how much I loved him. She passed along the link to others and commented, “Beyond sweet. Congrats on your anniversary!”

I had heard she was ill, so I thanked her and asked how she was feeling. She replied, “getting a bit stronger every day–and hope to see Fun People (like you) again soon. just loved your anniversary note–he’s a keeper!”

Reading this I was excited because I truly wanted to spend more time with her and know her better. Anyone who ever met her felt this way. And now I am so sad that I will not get that chance. But Kim’s passing is a reminder to us all what Kim personified –  Life is short. Live it. And love it.

I’m wasting time here on this earth if I am wallowing in self-pity. Part of Kim’s legacy was teaching us all how to love big – love the arts and reading and writing and all things beautiful, love your friends, love your family, love your life. Love yourself.

And celebrate.

That’s what I am doing today on the one year anniversary of my blog.

Celebrating her and what she taught me (and so many others.)

SHE was a keeper!

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