Birthday Celebrations for Goll Gappay

“With mirth and laughter let old wrinkles come.”
― William Shakespeare

November is the birthday month of Goll Gappay. A year ago this month, I resolved to launch a blog and not let anything get in the way - a wish I had guarded and nourished since at least 2006.

I went frequently to my close circle of friends and supporters for advice. I singled out Afia Aslam for her assessment of Goll Gappay in its developing stages. Afia guided me on everything - name, concept, design, she even edited the well-loved line that defines this place "Little Matters That Matter," which is far more superior than how I originally wrote it, "Words and Opinions on Little Matters That Matter." When I launched the blog, she shared it on her Facebook page and instructed her online community to visit Goll Gappay in her signature style. "Shoo!" Afia wrote at the end of her post. My strong and secure friendship with Shehla Wynne, which is characterized by a complete lack of judgment and unrealistic expectations and is often epitomized in moments of absolute understanding and profound emotional/intellectual support, lent itself to the carefully worded critique she provided on the initial design and writing style. This changed the finished product positively when the blog went live.

My friend Rebecca McCue and the photographic life-blood of Goll Gappay also provided invaluable advice, encouragement, and gorgeous photos to accompany complicated posts, often on a short notice. Rebecca is also the personification of the voice in my head that berates me (albeit gently) when I have not posted an entry for more than a week. Most of the time, her reminders work.

Others, especially my sisters Maham, Qurat, Mahey, and Anam (oldest to youngest - no preference in terms of affection, although one of them knows she is my favorite - watch, each of them will think it's her I am talking about, muahahahaha) promoted Goll Gappay unabashedly. "My talented sister," their proud and loud Facebook posts would say. "The latest gem from Noorulain Noor," or something equally overblown and grandiose would go up on each of their Facebook timelines successively during Goll Gappay's infancy. I am lucky that their love is just as ardent in all other aspects of our lives as well. We have had a good year - on Goll Gappay and outside of it. Special bellow, shout-out, acknowledgement, cheer to Qurat Noor for creating and managing the Goll Gappay Facebook Page (all the way from Tokyo) that has a modest number of followers.

Through Goll Gappay, I have discovered some wonderful voices (and people) in the past year, both in the blogging community and writing world. I have, in the past year, rediscovered the metaphor of Goll Gappay that first inspired this blog - new people, new events, and old friends along the way, too. I am grateful to everyone who has read and appreciated my ramblings, my honest attempts to capitulate to the quagmires of my thoughts, which more often than not manifest themselves in the form of run-on sentences. For that, my apologies.

And now, without further ado (and emotional speeches of gratitude), Goll Gappay's Birthday Celebration Plans! DRUMROLL, PLEASE!

To celebrate 1 year of blogging and in an effort to rediscover my writing mojo, I am making the following promises.
1. There will be at least one new post on Goll Gappay every day in the month of November. Sometimes, this post will appear on the homepage. Other times, it will appear on an additional page that will go live at some point this month (see point 2 below for details).
2. I will start working on my writing seriously by following a structured program. I will be working through Michelle Richmond's Story-Starters , the 50-day program to write on one prompt per day. These entries will go up on the "Story-Starters" page - the additional page alluded to above.
3. I will be reading and writing more poetry - sorry, you will be subjected to some of it here.
4. I will start cooking again - stay tuned for some cool cooking posts, including a rather grand one at the end of the month for Thanksgiving.

I am very excited. I hope you are, too. 

Photos by Rebecca McCue