A New or Not-so-new Thing | Blog 9.0 | A tale of many blogs

I’ve blogged extremely sporadically for years. Back in the early days of blogging when everything had to be hand-coded if you wanted to customize one of the few themes available, I had a blog called Emerging Ecclesiology. Which auto correct thinks should be “Emerging Anesthesiology” but I digress. I engaged in questions of theology and culture, the emerging church, and what ecclesiology (a theology of church, not as sleep-inducing generally as anesthesiology, if you’re interested in that sort of thing, otherwise, auto correct may have a point) looks like for a post-modern church.

That was about 17 years ago if I recall correctly, I was 23 and fresh out of seminary and bursting with ideas. I was teaching world religions at a community college west of Los Angeles, teaching assisting with some classes at Fuller where I had just graduated, and developing a college ministry program at a local church. Writing that reminds me that I used to have energy, now just looking at that sentence makes me tired.

Eventually I wanted to turn to more of an emphasis on general theology and spirituality so I renamed the blog Deep Soil and indulged in beautiful headers of trees and forests. Somewhere around this time (age 25 by now), I met my now husband on my blog. That’s right, I met my husband on the internet without internet dating and before blogs where a thing. I had to explain our origin story starting with “what’s a blog” to about 50% of the people I tried to tell it to.

I moved to Tennessee and took a full-time youth ministry position. That and planning a wedding, getting married, remodeling a house, husband getting ordained, then moving again a year later and both of us starting new jobs, a local church for him, a diocesan position in youth ministry for me, and blogging kind of fell by the way-side. Oh somehow in the middle of this, I wrote and published a book of youth ministry lessons on the book of Ezekiel. Why Ezekiel for my first book? Because I like to jump in the deep end and see how long I can tread water. This can be a good thing and very very bad thing, but it’s what it is. Now as I approach my 40th year, I sometimes remember to look before I leap. Sometimes.

We built a house north of Nashville, my diocesan position got cut after two years because of money problems, and I launched into free-lance photography, simultaneously starting two new blogs, one called Wayfaring Artist, which still exists in some ways on this site  as I moved the posts over here when I closed that down, and one called Daily Ikon which was a photo blog turned photography business. Those blogs lasted me through the birth of my first child (he’s now 8), after which I had to dial back the photography thing because it wasn’t paying enough to justify child care. Then in November of 2011 I finished my first National Novel Writing Month (aka NaNoWriMo), and decided I wanted to do something with the novel I had written. So I launched edits, and blog tour and started this site, A.E. Howard Writes to go with the “branding” of my author name. Initially I only used this blog feature for announcements, as I optimistically and unrealistically thought I could write a book a year and there would be things to update. I’ve done some short stories and novellas but haven’t published another novel as of yet.

Somewhere in there I tried briefly to revive Deep Soil, and at one point had (or maybe have, I need to check, lol) a blog called Anna’s Grace Notes, and now I’ve started a blog for my aquarium and vivarium business over on Engaging Ecosystems

So by relaunching now, that brings me to blog number nine I believe. Part of my problem is I kept thinking that I had to have separate branding for everything I did, and I’m getting to where I’m rejecting that notion. Now, what I want to write about here (more in a second), is very different then technical posts on how to build a dart frog ecosystem, so I am going to keep those separate, but that’s it. I’m not removing the artsy maker posts just below this that I briefly dabbled in trying to make a go of. I still make and build and design all sorts of things but I do that for me, not for content to share.

One constant theme in all these is a search for beauty in everyday life, hence the name “daily ikon” for instance, or some of my taglines “beauty in the daily” and so on. It has been a constant theme to learn to live everyday life with appreciation and gusto even because if we only wait for the big things, the milestones, the events, we miss the majority of our own life–the one built from seconds and minutes, from children’s smiles, hot coffee, and spring flowers. If we miss the ordinary, we can’t truly appreciate the extraordinary anyway, so it’s important to make the most of the daily.

So that brings me to this blog, now in the middle of 2019. I’m working on a non-fiction project that I don’t know exactly what it will be yet. As I get parts of it done and polished I’ll post them here. I’m exploring ideas related to empathy, right relationships, theology, and what’s wrong with American Christianity. Yeah, tiny little topics, I’m sure I’ll have it sorted and polished in no time flat.

I’ve been reading a lot, so I thought I could also share some feedback and reviews from my current reading list as I go along as well.

And I’ve got about 4 different fiction projects in the works, I can’t make any promises as to when they will be finished. Books 2 and 3 of my middle grade Keeper of the Keys trilogy, a full novel from the novella I contributed to Wonderstorms, and a new project that will most likely include frogs. Which gives me my latest tagline for this site: Faith. Frogs. Fiction.

I’ve suffered for some years now from a chronic illness, namely untreated and then under-treated hypothyroidism that really wrecked my ability to much more than survive. I’ve learned a lot from being so restricted, more that I can share in other posts, but the biggest take-away is that I am not what I produce. I am happy when I can write thought, and now that I’m closer to getting the proper dosage of meds and all worked out, I can tackle some of these projects and even start bringing them out into the light, even if I don’t have any time frame that I can promise on them.

So that’s where we’re at as of today. Thanks for coming along on the journey, and welcome! Or welcome back, as the case may be

In the meantime… How I met my Husband Part 2

“So, I just had the most amazing conversation with this guy who reads my blog,” says I, thoughtfully chewing on a sandwich at the Lovebirds Cafe in Pasadena.  I was eating lunch with my friend Joanne on a break from classes at Fuller.

“Really?  What’d you talk about?”

“Theology.”

Pause.

Me.  “We talked for like 2 hours, do you think it means anything?”

Joanne, “Well, it was about theology… I don’t know.  Too soon to tell, let me know if you talk again!”

Munch, munch, munch.

“I haven’t actually seen him online for a couple of days, so who knows…”

Of course the name of the restaurant we managed to go to that day wasn’t helping with the whole, love is in the air thing I had going on in my head (okay, so it wasn’t love yet, but I was at least crushing, k?).

Turns out he had left school to go to a convention (which, was on that Friday and Saturday, I’m not sure why he wasn’t on Wednesday and Thurs either, but who knows).

But then Sunday afternoon, his name popped up in my chat window! He was back, and he wanted to talk!

Me seeing him online had nothing to do with the fact that I had an alarm set to tell me when he came back, and then when it did go off, me sitting there chanting “message me, message me, come on, you know you want to.”  A case for subliminal influencing 2,115 miles away? I guess we’ll never know…

Have you seen part one? Don’t miss it!  Let me not to the marriage of two blogs… How I met my husband Part 1

Let me not to the marriage of two blogs… How I met my husband part 1

I’ve been inspired by a new favorite blog of mine to tell the story of how my husband and I met here on my blog. It’s something I’ve been meaning to do for a while, since the truth of the matter is, I owe my blog a deep debt of gratitude for finding my husband.

If you’ve been reading my blog for any time at all (like gavin), you’ll know that my husband and I both keep blogs. Mine, well, that’s what you’re reading (*gasp* I know) and Jody (my husband) is Quo Vadis, a blog he’s been keeping for at least as long as I’ve been blogging (at deepsoil or in one of deepsoil’s incarnations as a blogger blog, a typepad blog, a wordpress self-hosted blog, and now Wayfaring Artist).

But what most of you don’t know (cue strings and waltzes) is the roll that our blogs had in bringing us together.

One night in January of 2005, I was bored and going through my stats to see who was linking to me. Now, I do have to be somewhat bored to actually go check links, especially as this was a time when I got a lot more traffic than I do now. And I found a link to this blog that I didn’t recognize, and headed over. It was Jody’s, albeit then a blogger blog, and he had posted on something I found interesting, plus when I clicked on his blogger profile I found a pic of him with eyes that absolutely made me melt, but when I decided to im him to discuss his blog post, it had nothing to do with the whole melting thing… Really, it was just an intellectual interest in a topic we’d both been researching.

So we talked via instant message and after we got off two hours later, I was sort of reeling with the fantastic conversation we’d just had. But I didn’t want to read anything into it, and all, so I figured I just wait and see what happened.

He didn’t get on line again for four days…

(to be continued)

In the meantime… How I met my husband Part 2

*originally published in February 2008.  I’m bringing it onto this blog because I intend to actually finish the story over the next couple of months 😉