Thursday, July 28, 2011

Thank you, kind Reader

As is the way, I forgot a few individuals in this post that I would really like to mention personally. So I'm going to add this amendment, and take the opportunity to thank Ms. Linda B-C, brother Dave, Uncle Kip, Grandpa and Grandma, sister Natalie, Aunt Marsha and my dear friends Camille, Ignacia, Kendra and Sarah for their support of my blog simply in reading it and letting me know that they read it.

Thank you, too, to lladybugg of A Little Bit Growed Up for her recent comments here.

Also, to Nate and Annie, thanks for all the adventures growing up.

Finally, to all who have loved Tetanus Shots (including you, Uncle Nick), well, God bless you for laughing.

Today I wish to express my gratitude to all of you who read No Pens, Pencils, Knives or Scissors. I am a writer, therefore I write and I write to be read. So to you, whether you are new and come only this once, or whether you are a friend of my creative endeavors and have been for a while, I say thank you.

It is my one year anniversary here on blogger (I'm small fry, I know, but I am determined to celebrate it, because I did not give up in despair and delete the whole shebang). Before I had this arena in which to write, I wrote (and later rewrote, revised and reworked countless times) a novella that I flogged around to publishers. Then followed some unsuccessful attempts to write fictional short stories.

Several years later, I began writing a newsletter for my tiny Mom's Group. I sent it out from my home and everything, and not by e-mail - with stamps. In each of those newsletters I included an original story based on events in my childhood. Fortunately, my friends were not annoyed by having my work thrust on them, and I gladly admit that writing those newsletters improved my writing technique, promoted brevity in words and allowed me to share for the first time with an audience some stories that I always wished to tell, such as Dad Steps on One, and Mom Beheads Another . (At first I was nervous about sharing that one, I'll confess, because it involved describing my Mom shooting a rifle into the garden. In the end, however, the chance to tell that story, like so many others, was irresistible to me.)

When one of my friends suggested I start a blog, there was not doubt in my mind what I would call it. The suggestion for the title of this blog came both directly and indirectly from my dad. Indirectly, because what you read at the top of this page is true, and more directly, because Dad suggested that I should write a little collection of stories and publish them under the title, No Pens, Pencils, Knives or Scissors - If This Is What It Means to Be an Adult, I Want My Childhood Back.

And that brings me around to the more specific thank yous I wish to express. Yes, I realize that today I am celebrating a little thing and few will note it, but to me...well, it is bigger than just slopping some words onto the "blogosphere". I am building up a collection of stories that I have always wanted to tell or have recently discovered in my life with my beautiful children and husband. I'm glad that my children can read these stories someday, a little legacy of which I'm proud.

So let's proceed with my expressions of gratitude, shall we?

For always supporting me in my writing, for talking to me for hours about it at times, for mentoring me in my creativity, and for commenting regularly on my early pieces here, a big thank you to my dad.

For being one of my first and, until recently, a regular commenter, thank you to my big sister Vinca.

For encouraging me often on Facebook by letting me know how much she likes my stories, especially those about my childhood, thank you to my Aunt Cheryl.

For being my second follower and a most unexpected and gratifying one, thank you to my cousin Jared.

For promoting this blog and reading it even though we are not blood relatives :-), thank you to my brother-in-law Roberto.

Thanks to Blogger for this public space in which to air my writing.

For advising me to start this blog in the first place, thanks to my friend Dana.

For designing the header of this blog, thank you to my friend Holly.

To Domesticated Bohemian , thank you for being the first big blogger to follow me. It really gave me a thrill, no matter how naive that was of me.

To Mr London Street , thank you for adding me to your blog roll, and for the few regular readers you've sent my way by doing so.

To all my 21 followers, thanks for having faith.

To Shopgirl  from A Blessing a Day , Jayne from Suburban Soliloquy , and Sharon from Resistant but Persistent, thanks for all your kind comments lately. Truly, they're appreciated.

And thanks again to my dad, Daniel Hylton, because he wrote three wonderfully entertaining guest posts for this blog and consequently brought in some fresh traffic.

To my kids for creating stories around me every day, for having conversations with me that fire up ideas and make me laugh, your mama humbly expresses her gratitude. Also, Mama is grateful that you listen to my interminable stories about growing up "in the country".

And most importantly, thanks to my handsome Man for putting up with all the blog drama. Sadly, I'm not sure I'll be able to pay for the kids' college with my writing. Keep up the good work at the day job, my love. And I want you to know that I'll never forget how, when we had yet even to meet, I sent you that novella of mine, very dear to me, and you said my writing ability impressed you. I'm sure you thought it'd get me somewhere by now, more than ten years later, and I regret that I have yet to make you proud in that way.

And so I raise a glass to all of you and to myself and conclude with the classic strains of,

Should auld blog posts be forgot, and never brought to mind

Should auld blog posts be forgot

in days of auld land syne....

Now sit back, relax, and enjoy this slideshow of my favorite images from No Pens, Pencils, Knives or Scissors whilst you wipe away those tears:

In Tennessee (I'm the chubby legged girl on the right)

The Red Rocks of Sedona

Headframe at the Little Daisy Mine in Jerome, Arizona

Tumbleweed Tree

Chaco Canyon ruins in New Mexico

Casa Grande ruins

Casa Grande ruins of the Hohokam people in Arizona

Jerome, Arizona

Tonto Cliff Dwellings in Arizona

Best picture of the Painted Desert (Arizona) ever!

Petrified wood and the American Flag

My Man driving through the Painted Desert
My beautiful mother on the Pont Neuf

Dad on the Pont Alexandre III


Beautiful Behemoth


  1. Happy Bloggiversary! I'm glad you decided to start writing a blog and I'm glad you chose to continue - I've really enjoyed reading your pieces.

    Oh, and thank you for your kind comments.

  2. Sharon, thank you! I'm very glad to know you've enjoyed reading what I've written, because I have so much respect for your talent.

  3. You are so welcome and congratulations on crossing the one year mark. I've been really enjoying reading your blog, your pictures and stories are often the bright sparks in my day.

  4. Thanks, Shopgirl! I am very gratified to have you as one of my readers, and it means so much to me that you enjoy what I've created here.

  5. Hillary, love your posts and love you, too! Yes, congratulations on your bloggaversary. Keep writing--you may pay for the kids' college yet! ;)

  6. I think I just better post as anonymous and sign my comments. That was me


  7. Congratulations, Hillary. I enjoy your keen wit and your insights into life in general, and I really like seeing the history of our family through different eyes - yours.
    Love, Papa

  8. Camille, you know I really appreciate every little encouragement in my writing, and when it's a good friend telling you may yet pay for your kids' college? Well, get out of here!~ It doesn't get much better. :-) Thank you for being my dear, dear friend in Arizona.

  9. Papa, I'm not sure I'm always getting the history right, but I know you'll forgive me for not remembering exactly or for fudging a little. Don't forget to comment often, because Yours and Vinca's comments are always special, and I love finding them.

    Love, Hildy

  10. Oh, Hillary--so sweet. We've so much to be thankful for don't we? Happy 1st Anniversary of your Blog-it's an important milestone and one to be celebrated (I hit my first in June!), so I raise I nice big glass of Cabernet to you--keep doing what you're doing, Hillary. It's wonderful! ;)

  11. Happy blog anniversary (belated :-) ), Jayne! And thank you so much for the encouragement. It's been wonderful connecting with fellow bloggers like you.


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