Brand building through storytelling

A year in the life of ronamaynard.com

I’m breaking out the virtual champagne today. It’s been exactly one year since I launched ronamaynard.com, and getting to know you online has been even more rewarding than I could have guessed.

Through this site, I’ve made new friends and reconnected with people from my past. I’ve found good homes for my electric mixer (now creaming butter in Kerry’s kitchen) and the designer suits from my corporate life (which look smashing onChrista). I was moved and amazed by the online reunion of two childhood playmates who found each other here in the Mother/Daughter Gallery by a stroke of pure coincidence. And I was honoured to receive the coveted “cool site” designation from Open Directory Project, the largest initiative of its kind.

After years of writing for traditional media, I’ve discovered the satisfaction of sharing thoughts and stories as they come to mind instead of waiting for the press to roll and the magazine to reach your mailbox. I won’t try to count the letters I’ve been posting, at least twice a week. I’d only get distracted and have to start over. But I did spend some time rereading the letters. In the process, I began to understand what wasn’t clear as I wrote them.

There’s a saying among writers: “How do I know what I think until I see what I say?” Looking back on what I’ve said this past year, I see that whatever topic I thought I’d chosen, another theme had chosen me—time, change and loss. As I grow older, I see it everywhere. So I look for touchstones that will keep me grounded in this fragile world where nothing lasts forever and people disappoint one another. The discipline of looking gives me hope—and uncovers all kinds of surprises.

In case you’re new to this community, I’ve rounded up a few of my favourite letters. If you’re an old friend, I’d love to know if your favourite is among them.

Cats of my life

The necessary art of condolence notes

Holden Caulfield revisited

Unreal estate: the secret language of real estate ads

My city, myself

Two bowls of soup: in memory of Val Ross

Is a husband just a partner in life’s everyday grind?

Moving day

Petals and thorns

“Such a lovely family, we didn’t see it coming”

A sad, solemn, necessary thing

The Hillary I’ll be watching

There you go, my personal hit parade. Oh, and one more thing (I’ve saved the most important one for last). Thank you for coming. Without the inspiration your comments and e-mails provide, this wouldn’t be my virtual home.

 

Posted by Rona

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