Exactly five years and 1000 posts ago, I dipped my toes in this big unknown world known as blogland. I didn’t know what I was getting into, but I loved to write and I was curious about what it would be like to put my ramblings out into a public space. 

I started this blog as a way of processing my thoughts and feelings as I prepared to go to Africa for the first time.  I was excited about it, but wanted to process the impact it might have on me.

A lot of water has passed under that bridge since. Right from the start, I was “fumbling” and I’ve done a whole lot of fumbling ever since – for words, for truth, for hope, for relationships, for peace, for inspiration… you name it, I’m a fumbler.

I’ve blogged from Kenya, Tanzania, Ethiopia, India and Bangladesh. I’ve traveled from coast to coast in Canada and into the States a few times. I’m made a lot of online friends and had the opportunity of meeting about half a dozen of them in person. I’ve worked through some fairly major life challenges in this space. I’ve watched my children grow and shared some of their stories online. I’ve been encouraged and inspired by the many bloggers I’ve come to count as friends. I’ve watched other bloggers come and go. I’ve tried new things. I’ve learned to Twitter. I’ve taken a lot of pictures, and started watercolour painting. I’ve wrestled with what it means to be a little more fearless. I’ve started calling myself not only a writer, but an artist – all-be-it a “fumbling” one. More than anything, I’ve tried to be authentic, honest, and approachable.

I’m going to keep on fumbling and I’m going to keep on talking about it on this blog. It’s become such a big part of my life, I know I’d feel lost if I let it go.

Thank you, blog readers, for sharing these past five years with me (or at least the portion you’ve been around). I enjoy you immensely. You are my friends, my encouragers, and my fellow fumblers.

In appreciation of you – whether you’ve been here a long time, or just showed up today – I’m offering a prize to one lucky reader.  I’d like to give each of you gifts, but that might be a little out of my budget, so this will have to suffice.  One lucky reader will get all of this… (I tried to combine little pieces of who I am and what I like in the package.)
  • Three books – God is No Laughing Matter, by Julia Cameron (author of The Artist’s Way), The War of Art, by Steven Pressfield, and Echoes of the Remnant, by the amazing artist and writer I met last week in Nova Scotia, Regina Coupar
  • Two of my favourite photos, matted and ready to be framed
  • A funky pair of earrings from my favourite shop in Mahone Bay, Nova Scotia
  • A bar of fair trade milk chocolate from Just Us, a fair trade compnay in Nova Scotia
  • A box of “cashews tumbled in Costa Rican milk chocolate infused with Chai spice” – my very favourite treat from SOMA chocolatiers in Toronto… mmmm…. 
  • AND… here’s the biggy (not pictured above) – a gift from my favourite fair trade global gift store, Ten Thousand Villages – you get to pick something from their Under $25 page (or a couple of things that add up to under $25)!

Here’s how to enter:

  • Leave a comment. You can say anything you want, but I’d be particularly interested in a comment about why you showed up here and why you’ve kept coming back (if you’ve been around more than once). I’d love to hear from some of the people who’ve been lurking but never leave comments – you know who you are!
  • Follow me! If you show up in the “follow me” box on the right hand side bar, or if you’re already there, you’ll get one entry into the contest. If you follow me in some other RSS feed (Bloglines, etc.), let me know in the comments, and you’ll be added.
  • Tweet or Retweet about this post (and include my tweet name, so I can track it – @heatherplett) and you’ll get your name entered.

If you do all three of the above, your name will be entered three times!

Thanks for visiting! I hope you keep coming back!

Note: The draw will be held on the weekend.

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