Blogaversary #2 and Giveaway!

Yet another year has come and gone.  This was a rough one.  My dad got cancer and after fighting long and hard, lost his battle.  Work turned insane and between all of that, my creativity took a hit (though it’s still plodding along).  I know I’ve made progress, but sometimes it can be hard to see.  SO I’m going to stop and take a moment to celebrate the little victories.

First, let’s celebrate the fact that despite this terrible year, I haven’t given up on pursuing my dreams.  And if you are still here dear reader, then you haven’t given up either.  It’s not always an easy journey, but there are moments all along the way worth celebrating.

Second, let’s celebrate the fact that we haven’t lost heart.  Life beats at us in a million ways with a million dramas.  Sometimes it’s hard to keep hoping that things will get better or things will change.  And yet, here we are.  We’ve made it through another year.

As I was at the National SCBWI conference in LA this summer, I kept hearing the beat of a heart in the messages over and over again.  Mike Curato’s story made me cry (again) as he reminded me that we each have a journey, we each have a story to tell and it has to come from our heart.

curato story

Lynda Mullaly Hunt’s heartbeat made me cry and reminded me that I can handle as many rejections as I can decide to handle.

Hunt rejection

Her fierceness, her determination, her grit reminded me that I need to make sacrifices for my dreams to come true.

Hunt netflix

Ekua Holmes heartbeat reminded me that we are the culmination of all of our experiences and our stories and art will reflect everything that we are.

Ekua stew

And perhaps best of all, was Eliza Wheeler’s heartbeat reminding me once again that the joy is in the journey.

Eliza journey

Write from your heart, draw from your heart.  I heard it over and over again.  I’ve heard it numerous times over the years and yet, somehow its impact was different this summer.  Don’t write the stories you think need to be told.  Write the stories you can’t live without telling.  They have to be from YOUR heart.  Those are the only ones that really matter.  Listen to the beat of your own heart and pursue that.

That’s the message I heard this year and go forward with this next year.  And it is this that inspires me once again to celebrate with you.  My blog “Of Tea and Mermaids” has been here on WordPress for two years now.  It’s time for another celebratory giveaway.  How about an Alaskan mug with Alaskan tea?  I have two mugs, one for two different lucky winners (see what I did there?).

blogaversary2

One mug has a beautiful painting of “Sleeping Lady” (my favorite mountain in Anchorage) with a selection of Alaskan wild berry teas.  The other mug is done by one of my favorite local illustrators (Barbara Lavallee) with a local blend of black tea called Sassy Bear.  Enter the rafflecopter here and may the best one of you win, my dear readers.  =)

About jenabenton

I'm an elementary school teacher, writer, illustrator and storyteller.

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