2013 – I Did What?

Some random thoughts from Portsong on the year that was.

  • Woke up 365 times – I will never take that for granted.
  • Celebrated 21st anniversary of marriage to Mrs. Perfect, the most patient woman in the world.
  • Got to build three theater sets at Lambert High School, where the kids call me #PartyMark and mercifully treat me like I’m not too old  (even though I usually don’t have my hearing aids in while I’m working, so I can’t even hear them).
  • Although I’m not in marathon shape anymore, I cranked out enough 10 and 12 milers to know I could get there again.
  • Made a friend named James while working with a homeless ministry that provides blankets, socks, and gloves any night the temp goes under 30 degrees.  I pray for you daily, brother.
  • Published my first book, Virgil Creech Takes a Swipe at Redemption.  Reviews are positive thus far, some from people I’m not related to!
  • Got Shadowbanned by Reddit – really means nothing, but it sounds so cool.
  • Started this blog in October, which has been viewed 1623 times by people in 36 countries, and somehow has 90 followers. Finally hit the last continent with a reader from Brazil in December.  Being a geography nerd, this little map thing makes me so very happy!


  • Held a Virgil Gives Back event where December proceeds were so donated to Heart for Africa.  Sales were so embarrassingly low we had to round (way) up to make the donation worthwhile – but it was fun to organize.
  • In pursuit of readers, I joined an amazing group called Clean Indie Reads, interacted with a book-reading ape, and have made cyber-friendships with talented writers from all over the world.
  • Built a following of 1626 on Twitter, almost exclusively made of people trying to hawk books just like me.
  • Am one of the only men on Pinterest, the only grown-up on tumblr, and I now have a cursory knowledge of MS Word formatting, Digg, Stumbleupon, and Bitly.
  • On a personal note, I’m thrilled to have accomplished the goal of printing my first book.  It is something I’ve always wanted to do and the third I’ve written, with the others locked away.  I don’t enter this world of publishing with expectations of fame and fortune, but I do have an expectation of experience.  Thus far, I’ve not been disappointed.  On some level, we all want to be heard.  If you’re still reading this, thanks for hearing me – I hope I can return the favor.

Blessings for a wonderful 2014!

21 thoughts on “2013 – I Did What?

  1. Hello Mark and Happy New Year!
    Looks like you’ve had a busy year! Congrats on your book, I published my first as well! I look forward to really diving more into your blog.

    Also, thank you for following my blog at Faith1st Ministries. I hope it has and will continue to be a major blessing in your life. May God richly bless you as you continue to write and blog. Please continue with us on this journey and remember to have Faith 1st because the “just shall live by his faith.” — Sebastian

    1. Thank you, Sebastian and congrats to you. Love your blog and appreciate you coming alongside with The Word. Always welcome in Portsong!
      God Bless and Happy New Year,

      1. You’re welcome and thank you Mark! I look forward to greater things from you this year and the years to come! I appreciate the welcome and hope we can make it a reality soon! Blessings to you and yours!

  2. Well done, Mark. I love your list and you can be very proud of all your achievements – I love the one abut being shadowbanned! What on earth is that? It sounds extremely cool! I’ve ordered your book from the Book Depository, but it will be a while before it arrives here in the flatlands! I’ll keep you psted 🙂

    1. Thanks Val. I was hooked at your introduction! Reddit (I found) doesn’t take kindly to self-promotion. So if they catch you, they ban you, but don’t tell you. So you keep posting but to no one but yourself.

  3. Thank you Mark for answering my question on Kate’s blog. I was so pleased to discover you are now following me! Haven’t been doing this too long myself but find blogging very addictive! I was happy to see you were following Sebastian’s blog as well – he’s amazing and so encouraging.

    I really like your style of writing and it will be fun to discover more of your posts as time marches on. Just got on Twitter and hope I can attract followers that way too. Blessings to you and yours,

    1. Thank you very much. Yes, I like to check out blogs when I see new ones and yours looked very positive. Always great to hear what fellow believers have to say. I look forward to seeing more in my reader.
      Blessings to you.

  4. Yes, I read your post in full and liked it very much. You’ve accomplished a great deal and hope to visit often and draw from your experience. I have a novel stuck somewhere in the electrical heart of my lap top which I wouldn’t know how to put in print. There, I found a good blog!

    1. Thanks for the compliment. I’m glad you enjoyed the blog… I look forward to reading yours. As for the book, truly, if I can do it you can. Amazon has some free eBooks that are good reference to do formatting. If you’d like me to point one out, let me know and I’ll be happy to do so.

  5. You have been exceptionally busy in your community. I applaud that. I try to make time. We take cornbread cakes down to the local park where they serve the homeless soup every Sunday, but that is about the extent of my community endeavors for the year. I wonder sometimes how I ever found the time to work now that I am no longer working outside of the house.

  6. You’re certainly holding up better than I. Hope you and yours had a fantastic holiday season and are looking forward to an even better new year.

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