I have reached the milestone of writing my 300th post for this project called #RedheartBlueSign. I began this October 2011 following Ontario General election that year and it has allowed me to comment on politics, music, books and what was happening around me. The name comes from a profile on my campaign written that election, https://emilydickinsoncu.wordpress.com/politics/red-heart-blue-sign/.
There have been posts that have resonated with you the readers of RHBS and others not so much. Some posts that I have been very proud of did not get many reads, and others have led to other opportunities.
The post “Y2KXX a new normal’ was written about a recent vacation that took place just as COVID-19 shutdown Canada. It described a wedding we attended in BC and how the pandemic was going make all of us adjust to a different reality. COVID continues to do that 5 months later. That post led to being asked to expand the post to be included in a book being compiled of stories of kindness and hope in a pandemic. Honestly, it was a huge moment for me, I will forever be thankful to Heather Dawn and Wintertickle Press for the opportunity. It has opened the door to doing more long-form writing of longer than a 700 words blog post. The book “Not Cancelled: Canadian kindness in the face of Covid-19” not only includes my expanded reflection, and 48 other stories that show the kindness from across Canada.
I took the blog on the road last fall to Barrie Ontario and wrote a series on the election that was not political (well maybe a little) and gave a glimpse into campaign life. The nine posts during written between August and October and through those posts shared my campaign experience. If I do it again, and I know there will be more campaigns, I’ll bring more of campaign life to #RHBS.
There have been many books read and reviewed here. I have purposely read books I would never pick up for recreational reading; these books were all about learning from others. Books by Naomi Klein and David Moscrop confirmed what I thought about some left leaning writers, especially Moscrop whose ‘Too Dumb for Democracy” is one on the worst and most left partisan books I have ever read. Happily, that same post in March of 2020 was mostly about the best book I’ve read in a while; Beyond the Trees by Adam Shoalts and a completely partisan book in the favour of our nature and the beautiful and unforgiving terrain of Northern Canada.
One book review that continues to get views is from Ottawa’s Brian McGarry, posted May 2012. The book was his life and the life with the McGarry Funeral Home, which has, as the book title suggests “From Paupers to Prime Ministers: A Life in Death.” It is a fascinating look at his life and service to his community.
Some of the older posts are also good reads; there is December 2011’s “Collective Benefits of Ending Homelessness”, sadly we still haven’t solved that. My post on Canadian music “CANCON: The Making of MAPL Music” from May 2017 still gets attention.
Politics remains a topic of interest to write about, and thankfully still being read. Focusing on Ottawa I’ve written on a few municipal cycles that receive a good response. Another municipal election is here in a short two years, next month. With a Ottawa ward boundary review now upon us the 2022 election presents some unique situations and decisions by our local elected officials.
I have enjoyed sharing my music with you. I’ve reviewed new music by many and looked back at music and the part it plays in our lives as I did in the September 2017 post “No Music No Life” written after seeing a movie on Tower Records. I’ve also written about music in my family with the post “Ode to my Father” September 2016 and the influence of having music in my home from a very early age. The last two weeks I’ve shared a playlist with 60 years of music, I now have the playlist of those songs on my Spotify profile https://open.spotify.com/user/dekker.ra?si=eNdAD9eYTrmJA1DUheSdGA, take a listen and let me know what you think.
As I wrap up post 300, number 301 is already swirling around in my mind; thanks to all the readers, especially those that follow #RedHeartBlueSign, your ‘likes’ and comments are all appreciated.
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