Well hello there! It’s been a long time since I’ve written anything fit to publish on a website — actually, scratch that, it’s been a long time since I’ve written anything at all, if I’m being completely honest! But I’ve had the idea for this project drifting around in my head for two years now, and I thought it was time to finally set sail.
So welcome to
St. Paul 2 St. Pete.
My new blogging adventure.
If you’re here for my April AtoZ Challenge Theme Reveal, keep reading, I get to that soon! Or you may have landed here from my previous website Writing Dragons, which was my first foray into the world of blogging. I started in December 2015, and while I envisioned that site as a way to keep myself accountable and on track while writing my long-planned trilogy of dragon novels, that concept quickly fell by the wayside in favor of showcasing fabulous dragon artwork by amazingly talented artists from around the world and around the web.
I posted daily through October 2016, then weekly through 2018, and eventually a few times a month until December 2019, featuring dragon art and artists alongside my original fiction, thoughts on writing, op-eds and articles, special features like my eight-part series on artists at the Minnesota Renaissance Festival, lots of LGBTQIA+ and Pride posts, and two years of monthly birthstone dragon galleries.
I also participated in the April AtoZ Blogging Challenge three years in a row, and my series of essays for AtoZ 2017 on Dragons in Our Fandoms is work that I’m still very proud of (even if I didn’t finish X, Y, and Z that year).
But I basically stopped writing when my life changed dramatically, even before the global pandemic hit in early 2020.
In October 2019, after months of planning, I picked up my life and my cats and moved from St. Paul, Minnesota, to St. Petersburg, Florida on my own. My husband and I are still together, just not living together full time. He spent a few months here with me in Florida during the 2020 pandemic quarantine lockdown, and he’s been snowbirding here this winter as well, while I’m hoping to join him back in Minnesota for a few months this fall for MN Ren Fest 2021.
Our relationship works for us, and I don’t know if I’ll talk any more about it on this site or not, but all that really matters is that sometimes he’s here, and sometimes I’m on my own.
Meanwhile, I had all these ideas for things to write a new blog about — moving across the country is no small feat, and things are so different here in tropical Florida compared to my entire life before this in the cold Upper Midwest!
After vacationing here in the Tampa/St. Pete/Clearwater area every few years for the last decade, and saying we’d move here ‘when we retire…’ I realized there was no time like the present, and I’ve had so many cool experiences in the last seventeen months.
Which brings me to AtoZ 2021. I started an AtoZ idea list for 2020, but at that point I had only been here and on my own for a few months, and then the pandemic hit and the world turned upside down, and I just knew it wasn’t the right time.
But here we are a year later. I’ve revisited my list, and I have more exciting experiences to talk about, and tons of photos I never got around to sharing anywhere, so it’s time to give it a shot!
So once again, let me welcome you to St. Paul 2 St. Pete, which currently consists of this one, lonely post. But all through the month of April I plan to post one story each day with lots of photos related to my theme of moving across the country and finding myself in Florida on this new adventure.
I have my full A to Z list finalized, and while in previous years I’ve had nearly everything written before now — it’s Sunday night, March 28, 2021 as I finish drafting and posting this! — I’m sure it’ll all work out.
Some of my topics are going to include:
- C – Car Ride from St. Paul, MN to St. Pete, FL – Three days in my MINI Cooper with a suitcase and three cats in the back, while my amazing father hauled a trailer full of the rest of my stuff to my new apartment!
- N – New Year’s Eves 2020 and 2021 – Both were celebrated on a Pirate Ship in the Gulf of Mexico with drinks, costumes, and fireworks!
- Q – Queer Spaces in St. Pete – I’ve found new places to hang out and a new LGBTQIA+ community, but I’m still dealing with the same old misogyny and bi-erasure as I have everywhere else.
- W – Wildlife Encounters – There are lizards, frogs, and giant toads everywhere, plus snakes on the beach and in my apartment courtyard, alligators crossing the road, completely different native birds, and more!
Then once AtoZ is over, I know I’ll still have lots to write about and tons of photos to share, although I expect to take at least the first week of May off to recover. After that, I may not hold myself to a rigid posting schedule like I had with Writing Dragons, since those self-imposed deadlines contributed to my burn-out after four years and I want this to be a more relaxed creative endeavor this time around, but you can hit the follow button to be notified when I have a new post!
Are you participating in this year’s April AtoZ Challenge? Please leave a comment telling me what you’re posting about and leave a link to your blog! I can’t wait to jump on a reciprocal blog-reading and commenting chain like I’ve done in previous AtoZs — there’s always so many interesting topics! Let’s just hope I can keep up with the grueling daily schedule after taking a couple years off from this event!
Thanks for reading, see you at the beach!
+ Photo of downtown St. Paul, MN from VisitSaintPaul.com
+ Photo of downtown St. Petersburg, FL from FloridaPolitics.com
+ Writing Dragons logo from my website
+ Invitation I designed for my party with a photo of The Inland Seas
+ April 2021 AtoZ Blogging Challenge Banner
+ Seaside Beach Dividing Line by 699pic from pngtree.com