REFLECTIONS

I’m not a huge fan of statistics! Yet at times they can be surprisingly revealing and this was the case over the holidays as I made a rare excursion to my ‘Stats’ page!

I think it is only fitting that an article about friendship should be the most viewed post of 2021. ‘Friendship’, written in February 2017, celebrates the wonder of friendship and more than ever I believe that:

‘The journey of life, with its highs of happiness and lows of loss and suffering, would be unbearable without the constant presence of friends -– the shared expedition easing the load, doubling the joy.’ (Annika Perry)

Some of my book reviews were in the top ten most viewed posts this year, including ‘The Frequency of Us’ (#2), ‘Life’s Rich Tapestry: Woven in Words’ (#3) and ‘Liars and Thieves’ (#5).

A few of my own fiction pieces were in the top ten. ‘Beckoning Light’ (#6) also had the honour of being the most viewed post within a single day in 2021. The comments on ‘Where Did They Go?’ (#10) were uplifting and heartening.

‘Lunch itself had been an unremarkable affair, the legs of the iron-wrought table playing a tuneless melody as the wrap was assembled. Tortilla, lettuce, avocado, parmesan, a couple of drooping slabs of tomato. They angered her, those tomatoes which had lost their lustre, their brightness. What right did they have to give up?’ (Annika Perry)

In the eighth position is one of my many ‘walking’ posts, this time taking a new look at the familiar topic! ‘Duality of Walks’ (#8) featured both a real-life local walk as well as that of the virtual walk as part of a global challenge!

‘Mesmerising Marbles’ (#7) proved popular with many as I captured how a Swedish musician built an incredible musical instrument that uses 2,000 marbles to create a unique and melodic tune.

The last two top ten posts centred around my work as a writer. ‘Creative Haven’ (#9) captured the creation and launch of my very own writing studio whilst my children’s book Oskar’s Quest was celebrated through a heartwarming and touching review in ‘“A Message of Courage, Kindness and Friendship.”’ (#4)

‘’Oskar’s Quest’ is a beautifully illustrated book sharing a message of courage, kindness and friendship. Annika Perry has a gift for writing up, not down to children. Even very young children are attentive, curious and observant.’ (Erica Henault)

None of this would be possible without you all, my dear friends! Your amazing, thoughtful and caring comments and engaging interaction has been a godsend this past year, all these years. I was astonished to see the array of nationalities of followers and friends from across the globe. The top two countries for the number of views were not a surprise to me, that of the United States of America and the United Kingdom. The next eight countries included India, Canada, Philippines, Australia, Pakistan, Nigeria, South Africa and Germany — a joy to see two more continents drawn in by my writing! Thank you so much — your continued support and interest mean so very much to me.

Finally, it is with deep sadness that two of the most gentle yet formidable souls I’ve met here on WordPress, both wonderful authors and bloggers, passed away this year. In this unique digital world, where connections are forged across the internet, often never to meet in real life, the friendships feel as close and meaningful as ever.

Both these authors lived incredible lives filled with adventure and daring; they faced their illnesses with courage, open to the end about their personal battles, sharing in the wisdom, hardships, love and joy. Their missives had me in tears and yet at times laughter.

Your lives exist through your words, your work; through us all touched by your inspirational approach to life.

Sue Vincent

14th September 1958 – 29th March 2021

‘No matter how much the physical world seems to shrink around you, as access to it is cut off by restrictions, health and mobility… the landscape of the heart is an infinitely wide place to run free and play with those we love.’ (Sue Vincent)

Mary Smith

d. 25th December 2021

‘I was riveted by both the epic sweeping story as well as the wonderfully descriptive writing and the beautifully drawn and varied characters in ‘No More Mulberries’.

Mary Smith is an assured writer who unravels the multifaceted lives of her characters with creative skill, whilst retaining tight control of the overall novel. I was hooked from the very beginning and felt a sense of loss upon finishing the book … one of those times I just didn’t want to say farewell to my new friends!’ (extract of my book review of Mary Smith’s book ‘No More Mulberries’)

I will never forget either of you.

‘Let there be no purpose in friendship save the deepening of the spirit.’ (Khalil Gibran)

141 thoughts on “REFLECTIONS

  1. Annika, I read every one of your posts and so far they all shine with an incredible
    warmth and care. Furthermore, with writing skill that holds the reader enthralled.
    This one is no exception, it shines with joy and care, with gladness and sorrow.

    That your post about Friendship won the stats is showing what a friend you actually are to so many. Your quotes are wonderfully chosen, your photos the same. You honour your friends , Mary Smith and Sue Vincent , with eloquence.

    I am glad to see both your books also taking their space. I have read both and felt deeply touched. I hope it won’t be long before we hear more about your next book.
    Don’t ever lose trust in your gift.

    Thank you for the giving all this.

    Miriam

    1. Wow! Miriam, I am honoured and blessed by your amazing support and friendship all these years! ❤️🌺 It touches me deeply that you find so much within my writing – thank you.

      When I saw the Friendship post topping the stats I was heartened and moved by the sense of love and community here – I just had to share the positive message! I’m not sure about others but I personally had no expectation of the incredible friendships that are formed here on WP, and it has been a sadness to lose both Sue and Mary last year – stalwarts within the community.

      Thank you for reading both my books and for your wonderful reviews! 😀 I promise I will never lose my trust in writing and thank you for your trust in mine. Love & hugs xx ❤️🎈

  2. Hi Annika, Glad you enjoyed my last post. Thanks for reading. I too was mighty fond of the two dear women, very sadly, lost last year. Mary Smith and Sue Vincent were both extra special, I shed many tears. The mutual feeling of camaraderie which comes across between so many people is truly amazing. Long may it continue! xx

    1. Joy, I thought I hadn’t seen you around for a while and popped by your blog. You mentioned so many wonderful names there, many of my favourites! The friendships here on WP are astonishing and heartwarming … and of course, the losses felt keenly, so real yet from afar. Mary’s live-streamed funeral today had me in tears – an incredible woman, amazing life and so loved by family and friends. I had no idea that she was such a prolific poet and will search out her poetry books.
      Hope you’re having a good start to 2022, take care xx

  3. rod

    Impressive as your stats are, the quality of your posts and those who respond to them is even greater. None of this would be possible if you were not the person you are, so anyone hoping to emulate your success would do well to bear that in mind. There is no formula out there.

  4. It is wonderful that friendship gets to be celebrated as #1! It reminds me of Helen Keller’s quote “The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched — they must be felt with the heart.”

    1. Absolutely! 😀 Friendship should never be taken for granted and I am happy to be able to celebrate it here again in this post. I LOVE the quote by Helen Keller – she was a most remarkable and wise woman!

  5. What a beautiful post to end the year with Annika. And I agree with you, the friendships that we forge through WP are priceless. Wishing you a year ahead that’s filled with love, laughter, good health and happiness. 🙏

    1. Bless! Thank you so much, Miriam! 😀 After another tough year for many of us I wanted to celebrate the wonder of all friendship and particularly those here on WP! I had never imagined this possible as I started blogging, and now I can’t imagine my life without them!

      Likewise wishing you a magical and creative 2022, Miriam filled with light & love! Look forward to joining you virtually on your trips this coming year again! hugs xx

  6. What a neat idea. I’ve never thought of looking at the “statistics” to figure out what posts are most enjoyed by my readers. I think this is a good idea. That said, I’m not sure it would change what I post, since I believe in each one I do (whether fiction or non-fiction) and I find that some readers prefer the non-fiction, and others the fiction. And some don’t like my fantasy, and some LOVE it. 🙂 And with your posts, Annika. In my mind, they’re all 100% wonderful.
    And thank you for the lovely salute to our Sue and our Mary, voices in our blogosphere that have meant so much to so many. Their spirit lives on, and yes, we’ll miss them like crazy.

    1. Pam, I must admit I’d never seen this stats page before and at first, I thought, there must be an error when ‘Friendship’ showed up at the top. How could a post from years above still be leading the ratings? Then I thought how apt this was, friendship and community are at the heart of blogging here and my thoughts were especially with Sue and Mary. How true their spirit lives on …they taught me so much over the years.

      I’m glad to know you wouldn’t change a thing about your posts – I love them all! It’s wonderful you enjoy all of mine! This post has affected my decision about posts either … mine is rather a random ad hoc system, inspired by challenges, books, trips etc … seeing where the muse takes me!

      Wishing you a wonderful start to the week, my dear friend! hugs xx ❤️

      1. But the stats ARE worthwhile. I get all tingly when I realize that FRIENDSHIP is a driver in readership. As you say, it makes sense. I’ll be streaming Mary’s service on Friday, and I know many of us will be, and will be thinking of her in our hearts. ❤

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