Oh, How I Miss You Blogfest

If you’re looking for my Wildest Moments blogfest post, it’s here.

Ninja Captain Alex J. Cavanaugh, along with Andrew Leon and Matthew MacNish, are hosting the Oh, How I Miss You Blogfest. Participants will spotlight one to three bloggers they really miss, and one to three more they would really miss if they stopped blogging. Then go leave a comment on those blogs.

One of the blogs I miss most is Pitch University, the brainchild of Diane Holmes. This blog was really really hopping last year, with lots of great series, PitchFests with agents, a message board, consulting sessions, you name it. Then suddenly the posts got fewer and farther between, and a huge, biggest-ever PitchFest that had been promised for last September never happened. The message board is also pretty dead too.

The last post is from this January, giving us a bit of an update on what happened. Diane had to take a break from her responsibilities of running Pitch University because of chronic fatigue. I really hope her health improves and she can come back to running the blog, even in a lesser role, because so many people benefitted so much from her articles and words of advice. I know I benefitted a lot from the two Skype consulting sessions we had about my Russian novel. She got me to finally understand how to write a query for a saga, and how to get across that it’s a historical novel first and foremost, not some superlong romance novel.

ETA:  How could I forget about Nice Jewish Girl of the Shomer Negiah blog! NJG rarely posts anymore, but when she does, she still has such a loyal following who immediately post very heartfelt, encouraging comments. Her blog posts tend to be very long (like, the length I used to routinely write), but everyone takes the time to read these heartfelt, honest, raw posts.

In a nutshell: NJG is in her early forties now (I believe), didn’t have her first kiss till she was maybe 35, and is still a virgin. Her blog chronicles how hard it is to be her age and not know what it feels like to touch and love a man, due to being shomer negiah. Shomer negiah (really shomeret for a woman) means guardian of touch, and refers to someone who won’t touch members of the opposite sex unless they’re close blood relatives, not even to shake hands.

As someone who was a virgin WAY longer than most people, I can really relate to many of the struggles she’s posted about. (If you’re wondering, I was 28 when I made my sexual debut.) I truly hope NJG eventually finds her beshert (destined one, soulmate) and can have at least one child, and that she finally finds true peace of mind with whatever path her life takes. The Orthodox community needs to wake up and realize what laws like this are doing to people who haven’t found a spouse at the normal age.

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One blog I would truly miss is A Nun’s Life, which is primarily written by the lovely Sister Julie and Sister Maxine, two young, modern nuns. I’ve been following the blog for many years now, and watched it get bigger and better. One of my favorite parts of the blog is the weekly Ask Sister podcast with Sister Julie and Sister Maxine.

It probably sounds kind of odd, coming from someone from a different religion, but I’ve always really loved, admired, and respected nuns. They do so many good things for so many people, in so many different ministries. And nuns historically had freedoms most women didn’t have till very recently, like the ability to get a higher education, get advanced degrees, and work.

Even though most modern North American nuns no longer wear full habits and therefore aren’t as visible anymore, that doesn’t mean they’ve ceased to have an impact on those around them. I’ve read so many nun books over the years, and I love seeing habited nuns out and about. Seeing and hearing nuns stereotyped really burns my toast, so it’s very important we have a blog like this to show what modern nuns are really all about.

Sisters Julie and Maxine, and their guest bloggers, are doing such a wonderful service in demonstrating the diversity, meaning, relevance, vibrancy, and appeal of the sisterhood in the 21st century, for both Catholics and non-Catholics who just like nuns or are curious. You’d be so surprised to see some of the very modern topics they’ve discussed, like if being sexy can glorify God, hairstyles, sensible shoes, gay saints, balancing Facebook and life, dieting, and cosmetology.

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