Sunday, August 09, 2009

Time Flies When You're Having A Super Time: The Dept. Turns 4 And Feels Fantastic

Dear readers, a few days ago An Auspicious Occasion sneaked right up and subsequently passed me by unnoticed and without commemoration by anyone, even the vast web of the Internets. On August 6th, the Dept. of Nance turned four!

And They said it wouldn't last. Ha!

Though I have not become a Blogging Success Story with a book deal and appearances on a myriad of television shows, my foray into the online writing world has been pretty much what I'd looked for when I set out on August 6th, 2005: I wanted to practice what I preach to my creative writing classes, that writers write. I wanted to see if I had the discipline to stick with writing on a pretty regular basis. I wanted to toss my views out there and see if anyone wanted to talk about them with me. I wanted to improve my own writing style and skills in order to keep my voice fresh.
It's been fun, and I've been happy with what I've published here.

In honor of the Dept.'s Fourth Birthday, I've settled on the theme of The Fantastic Four. I'll choose four representative posts from each of the four years and link back to them, based upon the character from the Marvel Comic series. Hope you enjoy this retrospective, and, if you're a new reader to the Dept., then you're getting...five posts in one!

Are you lucky, or what?

Mr. Fantastic--The leader and smartypants of the group, he can stretch his body into incredible lengths and shapes. In this post about Christmas falling on a Sunday in 2005, I took a big risk for a new blogger looking for a readership when I smacked around the hypocrisy of right-wing fundamentalist religious zealots. Honestly, I think it is smart. But it was a big stretch for me as I tried to find my niche.

Invisible Woman--She can bend light around her body, rendering herself invisible while generating powerful force fields. Boy oh boy, did I ever feel like my blog was doing this while I waited for comments to start appearing. So frustrating! But in 2006, I finally saw comments begin, and some posts' comments even broke into the double-digits. I have a feeling about why this post got so much traffic, though. The title and the illustration, though, may have rendered my actual writing...well, invisible. Sigh.

Human Torch--This superhero can fly while surrounded by self-generated flames. In the words of that great 21st century philosopher and heiress, P. Hilton, "That's hot." (Sorry. That hurt me just as much as it did you. What I do for laughs....) Anyway, in 2007, I got all fired up about what, exactly, the Dept. of Nance would do if it were, in fact, an actual Government Department. This post outlined very clearly what I would require and where my agenda would begin. It is my strenuous opinion that I am still greatly needed in Washington, D.C. I can start immediately.

Thing--this is the odd-looking being who possesses superhuman strength and endurance, due mostly to his organic stone-encrusted flesh. (Okay, yuck. Isn't there a really good lab-created moisturizer for that? I'm just saying.) Longtime readers here know that I routinely explore/exploit a few themes, those things which consistently irk and irritate me. This post is representative of those bothersome bugbears which I am doomed to perpetually endure and thereby lament every so often in this forum.

A word: I think the downside of being a Longevity Blogger is that perhaps newer readers never see some fun, good stuff I wrote back in the earlier days. That's one of the reasons I included the LinkWithin widget at the end of each post although it doesn't crawl very deeply into my archives, and to be honest, I'm befuddled at the so-called relationship it finds between the existing post and the past three it suggests.

So to celebrate my own 4th birthday, I'm going to start randomly grabbing an archival post from other bloggers' sites and read something from their Time Troves. I think it could be...well, Fantastic.


  1. Happy, happy fourth, and may there be many more. I'm so glad you put the time machine in there; but then, you are clever and creative and a super wordsmith.
    I rather like the widget thing, too.
    May just put one up myself. (Always borrow from the best, hmm?)

  2. Anonymous9:24 AM

    Wow, it does not seem like the Dept. is four.
    It does seem like more than four years since there has been a Nance sighting here in So. MD.

  3. Dear Nance,
    I am a relatively new fan of yours, so I am tickled that there are four years of archives with which to tickle my fancy at my leisure. Congratulations on this milestone! Keep on keepin' on!

    I love your politics, I love your writing, and I especially love your attitude!

    Thank you for being YOU!

    Karen Murphy Schlesinger

  4. Happy Anniversary! I got a good chuckle out of the Christmas mugs, and the war on Christmas one, I even left a comment. :)

    I think I actually remember the other two, when they were new. *pats self on back in annoying way for being so darned good*.

  5. J@jj--Thank you! I saw your comment, AND your own war on c-mas post, dearie! I visited it in my Archival Blog Crawl. Loved that horrific illustration, BTW. LOL. I'm very glad to have you as a Longtime Reader. Much Appreciated.

    Karen Murphy Schlesinger--Welcome to the Dept.! Thank you for your kind words. It's wonderful to have a new reader, and I'm doubly flattered that you plan to dig further into my Archives. Please do, and if you are moved to comment, be assured that I will indeed respond at the post site.

    Anonymous in SoMd.--Oh, I am so wistful. It HAS been a very long time.

    Mary G.--Glad you liked the Way-Back Device(s). I found LinkWithin on a few other favourite blogs, so it certainly wasn't my idea/invention by any means. Last year or so, I did start inserting a link at the end of posts to a "Vintage Dept. of Nance" post, but it's so worky. It's nice that someone put a widget together to do it for me! Thanks for the encouragement and hugs. Always much appreciated, as are your comments.

  6. Thanks for hitting my archive. Regarding the inability to throw out books -- do you know about Bookcrossing?

  7. Caroline3:44 PM

    Happy Birthday, Nance! I miss you!

  8. Congratulations on the four-year mark. That's an amazing accomplishment.

    Anytime I come across a blog that I like, I go back and read all the archives. I've read some really well-written and funny things, and I include your blog in that group. (Ben and the Italian bread was one of my absolute favorites.) Keep up the great work. I hope to someday compare.

  9. Life at the FF--Thank you for such high praise. And a tremendous thank you for perusing my past posts! I adore Ben still, and he and his band just recently won a HS Battle of the Bands in Cleveland. His talent is awesome. I made sure to find him (in his junior English class!) and make a huge fuss over him. He just grinned and in his soft-spoken way said "wow, thanks. did you really read about it? that's awesome." what a great, great kid.

    CAROLINE!!!!!!!--I miss you, too. Thanks for reading. I heard a rumour that you sneak over here....

    Mary G--Yes,that's where I got the idea of setting them free, but you know me--I'm far too lazy to do anything in an organized, worky way. I just sort of leave one here or there and hope for the best! (and you're welcome!)

  10. Nancy9:04 AM

    Congratulations, Nance, on your fourth Anniversary.

    You never let us down. Whether you are discussing politics,wine,school
    or serious subjects like blue M&Ms,
    you are right on target in my estimation.

    So, you keep writing them and I'll keep reading them.....

  11. Happy Birthday to The Dept! You inspired me to be a become a blogger and for that I thank you deeply!

  12. J.--How lovely to know that I am An Inspiration!

    Nancy--Thank you. As you know, I enjoy reading not only your salient and often clever and humorous comments here, but also your engaging stories at the Storytelling Place. You should leave us a link here whenever you have a new one up. I would not mind in the least if you "plugged" your work here. Consider this an ongoing invitation.

  13. Nancy5:13 PM


    You are very generous to suggest that I let your readers know when I have a story ready for the Elder Storytelling Place.

    As it happens, I have the story that I used as a comment to you last week about the time I made a special dinner for my husband's boss and his wife.

    It will be published this Friday August 14th. This is the address:

    If you enjoy reading stories you can find the "Storytellers" in a drop down box on the right of the story. If you click on a name you will see the titles of each story that person wrote. Click on the title and the story and comments will appear.

    Thank you again, Nance. This is very nice of you ....

  14. can your blog be four?
    seems like yesterday that I
    first came here and laughed

  15. Ortizzle--Thank you so much for the Haiku Comment! It is my fondest hope that I can keep you returning here for many more laughs for many more tomorrows.

  16. For those of you who would like to read Nancy's story-- Click Here for a handy link to her space at The Elder Storytelling Place. Her other stories are already there, and her newest one that she has referred to above will be there on Fri. 8/14.

  17. Congrats, Mon Generale. Yu dun good.

  18. Happy Blogaversary! My own fourth anniversary of this kind won't get here until November, but I still expect to be snowed by work then. I wonder if I'll ever be able to blog normally again.

  19. A2Nancy--Merci!

    apathy lounge--You will, as long as you readjust your idea of "normal"!

  20. Belated Happy 4th Nance! Do I hear some shouting in the background? Four more years! Four more years! :D


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