The Final Five.

I began this blog back on August 16, 2001. It was over on Livejournal then. I was 31, teaching at UNC-Chapel Hill and had four books published. I joined LJ because my younger cousins were on there and I liked how I could use it to keep up with their lives. This was my first entry:

When I sold my first book I was working at a restaurant called the Flying Burrito. When the novel was published I felt like I’d been split into versions of myself: burritogrl and writergrl. Burritogrl slung salsa and came home from bad Friday night shifts with beans in her hair. Writergrl did hometown newspaper interviews and appearances at bookstores. It was really weird.

About a year after that first book came out I got an academic job and left behind my waitressing career. I am still nostalgic for it, sometimes. So Burritogrl is gone, for most intents and purposes. But Writergrl remains, the persona I have to take on when I’m doing promotional stuff. Writergrl is much more cheerful and easygoing than I am in real life. She has better clothes, too. But no beans in the hair. That I don’t miss at all.

Over the last twelve years, two months and nine days, I’ve shared a lot of my life both on that blog, and then this one, when we migrated to my new site. Some of you have been reading from the beginning, some for only awhile. But all of you have been part of this journey, and I just want to thank you for coming along for the ride. (So to speak.)

I’ve written here about some great, amazing times. I saw two of my books get optioned for a movie, and I got to see that movie made in Toronto, then attended the premiere in New York:

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(Please don’t say anything about my hair or my weird closed-mouthed smile. This was back when I was embarrassed of my teeth so I never showed them. Not a good time for me. Also, I only have two pictures of me with Mandy Moore and I looked terrible in BOTH of them. But what was I going to do, not share them with the entire world? Of course not. Pride before shame, and all that.)

And there were sad times, ones I shared (like the passings of three of of my beloved dogs) and ones I didn’t address but only hinted at, like my miscarriage. But always more good stuff than bad, because who wants to read bad stuff? Personally, this entry was a personal favorite of mine, mostly because it ended with this:

Let’s see. There was something else I was going to tell, what was it? Hmmm. Oh, yeah.

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I’m pregnant. Due in the fall. Crazy, right?

Sob! Then, of course, there was when this happened:

We are overjoyed to announce the arrival of Sasha Clementine, born September 2nd at around 3 in the afternoon. (Labor Day weekend, indeed!) She was 6 lbs, 15 oz, and we’re all doing really well. More details and pictures to follow!

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Man. I need to take a minute.

*breathes*

When I began this blog, I was doing entries every day. Then I got overwhelmed and went to just weekdays, followed by three days a week, and finally just this Friday Five. Meanwhile, the tech world was changing. Our collective attention spans got shorter and shorter, and people stopped blogging so much, moving instead to Twitter and Tumblr. I did too, finding that I really liked Twitter because it didn’t require the commitment of a long entry each week. But I loved this blog, and knew some of you out there did as well, so I kept at it. But in the last year, it’s just become harder and harder to do it each week. I only have a certain amount of writing energy, and I want to save it for my novel in progress. When something stops being fun, you should think about whether it’s worth the time. So I am walking away from this regular Friday Five. This does NOT mean I won’t do the occasional entry here: I will. Where else will I share bad pictures of myself with famous people? I mean, please.

I’m so grateful to have this archive of the last twelve years of my life, living on the internet forever. (Although I could do without the pictures of unflattering fashion choices/haircuts, but whatever, you can’t be choosy.) And I bet I’ll miss this, in some ways. Maybe you will, too. But if you want to continue to have ENTIRELY too much information about my day-to-day life, please follow me on Twitter at @sarahdessen, or over on Tumblr. And you can links to EVERYTHING I do over on Sarah-Land. And as I said, I will still be posting here occasionally. I have a feeling it will be hard, after all this time, to stay away.

So again, thank you for reading. For commenting. For putting up with all my reality TV obsessions, my GMA fangirling, and entirely too much discussion of chickens and coffee. It’s the end of an era, for sure, but maybe the beginning of something else. What, I’m not sure. But if there’s one thing I’ve learned from doing this blog all these years, it’s that you never know what’s ahead. Stay tuned.

Have a great weekend, everyone.

love,

Sarah

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