2019: That Was The Year That Was

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Now that’s a scary title reference.  Here I am trying to be culturally topical except that on checking I find that TW3 aired even before I was born 😱 !!

For the blog this has been a year of consolidation.  It’s first full January to December.  The first year of it being part of the furniture in our strange part of the blogosphere.

The melodyinsights Blog

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Between us Swirly and I have published 155 posts this year containing over 120K words.  Yes, I do consider Swirly to be an integral part of the character of this blog and I’m very proud to have her here and give her the space to express what she needs to say.  I think it’s a very important place in the blog where people, especially women, can read what she has to say and find common ground with her.  I have no knowledge of the private conversations that her posts generate beyond the fact that I know they occur.  Yes folks – we really are two different people.

melody’s Highlights

For me it has been an interesting year as is reflected in various posts.  Christmas had been a horror show.  It was the straw that broke the camel’s back.  What had been minor anxiety and depression issues turned in to the full blown real thing for about half the year.  It was something I didn’t really want to face up to and acknowledge, hoping it would go away.  What started to lift it was perhaps the most momentous and frightening thing I have ever done.  The decision that I had to tackle my father over the previous Christmas and the only way to do that was to come out as trans.  Something I’d vowed never to do.  However, circumstances change and I had to put myself first.

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This was the resulting post, Pater Familias.  I wrote it in a state of dissociation and wasn’t expecting the effect it had on readers.  I shed a few tears reading the comments and thank each and every one of you for the warmth and support.

This watershed moment released a few blocks that had been self-imposed.  I’d wanted to have my ears pierced for a very long time.  Doing so would have been a big give away to family.  I no longer had that problem.  So, I had a really wonderful day with my former mistress that provided a lovely closure to one of our back stories that gave the day incredible significance to both of us – The Symmetry Of Closure.  And now, melody has quite a collection of earrings.  This lady has evolved into an extremely close friend, we went out to dinner in mid-December – The Blessing of Friendship.

It’s been quite a year with my domme.  As enigmatic as she is I’ve come to recognise that symbolism has importance to her and that there’s an unstated sentimental side.  Early in the year our birthdays are four days apart and in between them it’s also the anniversary of the first time I nervously met her for an introduction to hypnosis.  She’d never had reason to know about the anniversary, but after several years she was delighted to learn of it.  The session coinciding with those landmarks was a special one and I wrote this It’s Only Pain shortly after.

Of course a CP session has a high pain element.  Later in the year she surprised me by using a snakeskin single tail that for the best part of three years since I bought it off her wishlist she’d gently let me know I wasn’t ready for it.  This time I was, barely.  It really brought home just how far she’s taken me, especially with the use of hypnosis – Snake Bite.

There have been some wonderful times in that dungeon.  I’d only been seeing her about 8 months or so when she took over that dungeon and I saw it before she applied her touch and personality to it.  This year she closed it to move onto new pastures and ventures.  I’m sure the long term date in the diary was a fortuitous coincidence, however, I do choose to believe that symbolism had a part to play in making me the very last session conducted there.  Slightly emotional to say goodbye to the place and from this post I know others have fond memories of it, too – Barnet Bastille – Farewell.

I can’t leave off talking about my D/s year without touching on the hypnosis element.  It’s an incremental thing that has settled into a rhythm and as such, without a ‘big’ moment I haven’t written too much on it this year.  Undoubtedly it helps me expand in so many ways.  Not least the confidence to be and do things as melody that would have terrified me not that long ago, as evidenced in this post – Stepping Out.

There’s so much to thank my domme for in encouraging and supporting me in being and progressing who I am.  Scratch the outer surface that a domme presents and invariably you find a person of deep compassion.  I’ve been privileged to be let in to see much more beyond those scratches and it’s very special.

Community

An important aspect to my blogging year has been inclusion and acceptance within the blogging community.  Becoming part of the furniture, as it were.  Delighted to be asked to pick spotlights for #WickedWednesday.  Discovering prompts new to me that are well suited to my topics and writing style such as #TellMeAbout and #F4Thought.

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Very personally satisfying has been my involvement with Sex Bloggers for Mental Health (#sb4mh), (@sb4mh)  Being asked to help with the prompt is a way of giving back.  It’s not that I do anything beyond read every post and comment.  But I know how important it can be at times just to know that someone, anyone, has read your words.  Thank you @sassycat38 and @May_Matters for asking me.  There’s also a new-ish task to select a monthly spotlight from the #sb4mh posts to be included in May’s monthly SoSS – I love this collaboration.

Swirly Lives Here Too

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Of course there are the posts from Swirly.  She may do a summary of the year for herself, but as host and editor I can manage to highlight some posts.  As part of the editor role I have to be somewhat dispassionate, only later can I take time to understand the many layers and their meanings.  Personally, I think Swirly found her format in what she calls the #365Words (though word count can go out of the window when she’s on a roll 😂).  It’s a format that can be read on so many levels of understanding, from those just interested in her story to those who have strong affinity with what she has experienced.

I’ve limited myself to a few standout posts.  The first is one that she wrote quite early in the year that took nearly six months to be published.  We had a lot of difficult discussions both before and during it being written, yet it always struck me as a sign of hope – SwirlingFire: The Assessment.  Later in the year is one in the #365Words format that is a brilliant example of the genre and it resonated with a lot of people – SwirlingFire: Mental Media.  I can’t finish this short list without an example of the humour and playfulness that’s ever present, though often masked when it comes to writing posts.  One day Swirly showed great courage to take the train to London and meet real life Twitter folk – SwirlingFire: Swirly’s Grand Day Out

The stand out event was all Swirly’s doing.  She entered herself in the Kinkly Sex Blogging Superheroes of 2019, where she received enough votes to be accepted on the 2019 list.  She’s also been awarded a spot on Kilted Wookies 2019 Naughty List and I really loved her surprise when she was included in the #F4T Chef List 2019.

Kitten Melody

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A late entry for my own momentous events is me becoming an aunt.  I defy anyone not to be taken in by the vicious cuteness on display here – How I Became an Aunt.  I’m following the adventures of this fluff ball of cuteness.  She’s captured Swirly, too 😍🐾.

Awards

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It’s not just Swirly getting awards and noticed.  The blog has been recognised this year.  That’s not something I’ve sought, they have been a bit of a surprise.

We gained our first entry on the prestigious Top 100 Sex Blogs 2019.  There are no aims on this blog to become a professional writer, or a need to fight for views and rankings and as such never expected to appear on the list.  Perhaps most satisfying from this experience was to see the people who nominated this blog.  Way more than I would ever have expected.  That was the real recognition and I thank you all.

And then Floss, who topped the Top 100 Sex Blogs of 2019 published her personal top 20 – Floss’ Top 20 Lovelies 2019.  The banner is very proudly displayed on the blog sidebar.  To be included alongside community luminaries is something I never set out to achieve, it’s happened organically and all the more meaningful.  Floss is amazingly prodigious and still manages to find time to read, comment and support.

Some Favourite Blogs and People

For sheer industrious effort in maintaining their sites, various prompts and what they give to the community, I (melody) want to give a special mention to:

May More – As well as #F4Thought and #sb4mh, May writes a mixture of great fiction, very thoughtful non-fiction and contributes to sexy pictures.  She’s been a good friend of this blog from very early on and has been very helpful to me, as I know she has been to others.

Marie A. Rebelle – Marie puts so much in to the community running #WickedWednesday, the Smut Marathon and others that we should all recognise the effort she expends.  Marie is another who was an early friend of this blog.

Posy Churchgate – One of the first to find this blog and encourage it to become what it is now.  I had a lovely lunch and afternoon with Posy earlier in the year and hope to do so again in the new year.

This post has become rather long already, the order of the following list is only related to at what point a realised I missed someone out and doesn’t include longer descriptions.  If I’ve lost too many brain cells and missed you out, I didn’t mean to.  Some of my favourite people and their blogs are:

Apologies to those I failed to remember in time.

A quick mention for the newest blogger I’ve come across MLSlavePuppet.

Not quite as new, though now branching out with his own blog, May’s other half Inigo More.  That’s a very talented writing household.