July in Review

Today marks a special anniversary: Some ten or so years ago I met one of my most influential and inspiring friends–and though we may live thousands of miles apart, my heart is closer to hers than to most people I know. It seems like we’ve been through it all together, the highs, the lows–the times we’ve loved each other, the times we’ve hated each other, the many times in between. Of all the people I know, she is the strongest, most persevering, most courageous–and her friendship means the world to me.

Mostly related by email, our time together is full of thoughtful conversations and intense reflections–analyses of the goings-on of life, in-depth discussions on topics as numerous as the stars. The birth of our friendship was the birth of a new soul, enjoined to the physical world not by blood or bone, but by the wires and Internet waves that have tied us together for so many impossibly wondrous years.

Today marks the birth of a new relationship–a reflexive relation I hope will provide as much for this blog as her friendship has provided me.

Part of my vision for The Writingwolf is to build a more interactive and community-oriented blog. I’m not going to stop writing the way I’ve been writing, but I want to complement this content with conversations that overflow from my posts and truly engage my readers. I want to learn more about you, build relationships, make this place a gathering of minds–not merely a reception room for readers.

My first step to achieve this is the introduction of monthly reviews. I got the suggestion from The Daily Post a while back and it stuck with me, so I’m giving it a try–with a twist.

Instead of just looking back at a month of material, I want to start a conversation–I want to hear which posts you enjoyed most, which posts maybe you didn’t enjoy at all, and which posts you wish I’d written, but hadn’t. I want to hear about you–what brought you here, what made you stay. Join the conversation.

It’s fitting this post comes today because it was only a month ago when I relaunched the Writingwolf–completely revamping the design and sharing a glimpse of my new goals in my inaugural post Howling On. The celebration continued with Rain and Independence, a post inspired by a rainy summer and the dawning of the Fourth of July.

I also returned to a few childhood pastimes in Mourning Monsters and Man vs Nature. It was a delight to indulge myself in these little guilty pleasures; it was terrific when I discovered how relevant they could still be today.

This month I reprised my reading of the third book of the Pirkei Avot, an endeavor I began last summer but never finished. Together we transcended debt while discussing the imminent arrival of death at our doors and then we discovered an unexpected link between Science and Faith.

When the third teaching rolled around, I was rolling forward on a train to D.C. to attend the RESULTS International Conference–an experience I shall certainly share more about as time goes on. No matter, my ride to Washington inspired Like Trees in the Wind, a look at the relationship between wisdom and community. Finally, the third book came to a close with a reminder about why we study the Law at all.

I took a moment to reevaluate and plan my monthly goals as the summer drew to an end, and then I celebrated the birth of Prince George Alexander Louis by proudly proclaiming that Nobody Puts Royal Baby in the Corner.

Words & Wonders wasn’t my only blog to get attention–over at Silent Soliloquy, my new blog devoted exclusively to fiction and poetry, I went wild with a return to lyricism.

After a long lull in poetry, I gave you three–a humorous recollection of my creative writing class in Of Simians and Canines, a tribute to the Jewish day of mourning Tisha B’av in Lamentations and Longing, and a stirring tour of D.C.’s war memorials in Entrenched.

My family also took a short trip to the Fort Fisher Acquarium this month, where I got to see jellyfish and sharks and learned about Rose O’Neal Greenhow, a Confederate spy aboard the grounded Condor. Her story intrigued me–so I did a little research and experimented with historical fiction in a new story called Rose Gold.

I had a great time blogging this month, and there’s so much more on my mind that I’m eager to share–so be sure to keep checking back as this adventure continues.

MUST-READ of the MONTH:
If you only read one thing, this should be it.

UPCOMING CONTENT
How soon? Can’t say–but it’s all on the way!

  • Tales from Belize and Washington, D.C.
  • New adventures on campus
  • Reflections on love, fear, and God
  • “Prosaic” and other poems
  • New fantasy stories–maybe even a romance!

Let’s get the conversation started!
You can say anything, but here’s a nice place to start.

  • What was your most/least favorite content this month?
  • What can I do to make The Writingwolf better?
  • How did you discover Words & Wonders or Silent Soliloquy?
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