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Time to Start Cranking Out the Creme de la Creme

Updated: The Creme de la Creme is now up.  I will still take posts and update it until March 1st.

For the fourth year running, it is November and time to kick off the Creme de la Creme list for 2009. If you’re unfamiliar with the project, read on to understand.  If you’ve participated in years past, you know how much fun the list is when its revealed on January 1st. So, I hereby declare the Creme de la Creme list open.

I know this is loooooong, but please read this whole post before submitting your entry.  Things have changed this year and if you don’t follow the directions, this won’t run smoothly and I promise, this post probably answers any question you might have.

If you didn’t read or participate in this list in 2006 or in 2007 or in 2008, the impulse behind this list are the ubiquitous award ceremonies that crawl out of their hiding spaces usually around December or January. Awards are nice–it’s good to honour someone and mark big accomplishments. But we all have a best post tucked into our archives. We all have words that have moved another person or ideas that have kicked off a series of musings. Bloggers are writers and all of us deserve to be celebrated.

And we’re doing just that.

This is the way it works. If you want to participate, read through your archives and choose a favourite post. You can leave all sorts of comments below telling me how fantastic I am, but fill out the form to send in your submission (do not leave it in the comments section–the point of this list is also the surprise of seeing the choices revealed on a single day). If you post your link below, I will delete it. Again, feel free to leave love comments below–in fact, please do leave love comments below–but not your submission for the list. Let’s keep it a surprise until the list is ready to go up.

You can only choose one entry. You cannot be modest. Everyone has a best post. There is no such thing as a boring blog. Even if you don’t think you have any readers because you’ve never received a comment, you have a best post. The one that you felt really good about when you hit publish. The one that would be the post you’d put forward if an editor called you tomorrow and said, “I have this great writing job for you that will pay a million dollars an hour. You just need to submit one blog entry to get this job so we can check your writing style.”

Even if you just found my blog because you read about the Creme de la Creme on another person’s blog, you are not only welcome to submit; you are encouraged. It is the best posts of 2009 for the ALI community and that community includes anyone who writes about infertility, adoption, pregnancy loss, stillbirth, neonatal death, assisted reproduction, pregnancy after infertility or loss, and every related topic–from living child-free after infertility to parenting after infertility. Everyone on the blogroll (or could be on the blogroll) is welcome to participate. Really, you don’t need to be a regular reader of my blog to join in. It’s open to everyone in the ALI blogosphere. I can’t say this in more ways than that. Which means you don’t need to write me a note asking if it’s okay to participate. The answer is yes. Okay?

Actually, it’s not only “yes;” it’s “please do.”

The list will be posted January 1st and I promise that you will use up a good portion of the beginning of the year reading through the most stunning posts you’ve ever seen. We had over 220 posts last year and I’d really like to top that this year. My goal is all 2000+ blogs currently on the blogroll, but barring that, let’s aim for over 300. Which means that not only do you have to participate if you’re reading this, but you need to spread the word and get other bloggers to participate (more on that below). Link to this post, send out a note to other bloggers you like, and suggest favourite posts to bloggers from this past year.

Um…other FAQ-like things:

How many posts can I submit?

You can only submit one. Please don’t submit two and ask me to choose. Submit one.

How will I know that you received my entry?

I will send out a mass email once a day to all of the people who submitted their entry. I use the “bcc” line on the email so that people don’t see each other’s email address. The only drawback is that these emails sometimes go into spam filters. Therefore, once you submit, check your email and spam filter for a day or two. If you don’t hear from me, send me an email if you’re concerned that it didn’t go through. I hate being impersonal like that, but the list took a long time to put together last year hence why I’m starting even earlier this year.

I sent in a post last week but I just wrote one that I love more! Can I switch my submission?

The short answer is no. The reason is that I write up the blurbs that appear next to each entry. This takes a lot of time. When you change your post, I have to write another blurb. Therefore, think carefully. But get your post in early so it’s high up on the list. But take your time picking it so you’re positive it’s the one you want on the list. But don’t give this too much thought…

If you just submitted it an hour earlier and realized you sent the wrong link, email me quickly so I can change it. Once I write the blurb, it’s set. I mean, you can pull your blog from the list, but you can’t submit a different link.

How do I know which one is my best?

Think of this list in sort of the same vein as those “Best American Short Story”-type collections except that it’s blog entries and everyone in the blogosphere should be represented with a link. The idea of the creme de la creme is not to put out there “the best” by someone else’s definition of “best.” It’s to put out the entry that means the most to you. Everyone has a best entry from 2009. It’s the one you would cry about if it was ever eaten by your computer. Even if it’s only meaningful to you.

I’m having a lot of trouble choosing my best one.

Why don’t you give a few choices to a friend and get their opinion? Don’t get hung up on the word “best.” It’s more about presenting a small taste of your blog. A lot of people read the list each January and it’s a chance for them to get to know your blog in one post. The goal, of course, is not only to honour every blog, but to also introduce everyone. Think of it like a cocktail party. You certainly think about what you wear, but everything doesn’t hinge on this one outfit.

I want to submit a post about my dog/favourite recipe/vacation in Hawaii. So…er…it’s not about adoption/infertility/loss. Can I? Or I want to submit a post but it has pictures of my baby in it. Do you think this is okay for an IF list?

Well, this list is sort of a pu-pu platter of the ALI community. Therefore, if your post is about your ski trip last winter, it doesn’t really show any emotion, thought, or event flitting through the community. Still, people have submitted off-topic posts in the past. If you have any part of the post that if ALI-related, all the better though.

The second question is a sensitivity one. Personally, I think that babies are part of the community and territory. The reality is that we’re all working towards parenthood or were once working towards parenthood. And children are included in that. I try to always mention in my blurb if it’s about a baby or if there are photos so people are given a heads up before they click over. So, yes, send posts that have photos in it and I will make sure that people know the gist of the post before they click over if they’re in a sensitive space.

I’m a man. Can I participate?

Are you part of the ALI community? Then didn’t you read above? EVERYONE is invited to participate. Male, female, young, old, married, single, gay, straight, everyone everyone everyone.

I’m a meerkat. Can I participate?

Er…a meerkat with a blog? An infertile meerkat with a blog? I guess…I mean…I did say everyone…

I just started my blog in October. Can I participate?

As long as you’ve had one post in 2009, you can participate. Even if you didn’t start your blog until October 2009. Just choose your best from the last two months.

My blog is password protected. Can I participate?

If your blog is password protected and you want to participate, choose your blog entry and create a free blog at Blogger or WordPress and post that single entry. Then send me the link so I can place it on the list. I can’t link to password protected blogs.

When is the deadline for getting in my submission (and this has changed since last year so pay attention)?

To ensure that you’re on the list on January 1st, please fill out the form by December 15th. If you submit after December 15, you will be on the list, but you will probably go up after people have started reading on January 1st.

The 2009 list doesn’t technically close until March 1, 2010. This is obviously a change from last year.  Instead of being able to submit through the whole year, you can submit to this list for the first two months of the next year and then the list closes.  The reality is that almost everyone had submitted by March in the last few years, and it’s difficult to keep going back and checking on the old sign-up list.  So if you are reading this after March 1 and you’re really upset, I’m sorry, but I promise the list will be back next year for 2010 posts.

So, just to reiterate–(1) if you submit before December 15th, you will be on the list on January 1st. (2) If you submit between December 16th and 31st, you may be on the list January 1st, but more likely, you’ll be on some point after January 1st.  (3) If you submit between January 1st and March 1st, you’ll go up on the list as soon as possible.  And then the list is closed until next year when the new one opens.

Can you post another link to the form right now because I’ve decided to submit.

Sure, here’s another link to the form. Just fill it out and hit send and it will go into the Creme de la Creme spreadsheet.

If you don’t want to participate, do nothing. With the Creme de la Creme List, I never add a blog or highlight a post unless the author has sent it to me. Therefore, no hurt feelings. If your post isn’t on the list, it’s because you haven’t sent one. If you see someone missing from the list after it is posted, go bug them and tell them to submit a post. But don’t send me a note asking me to add them without their permission. I really would like this post to be what the author believes is their best post, but if you are feeling shy and can’t choose, enlist a friend to help you narrow it down and choose your best work.

Lastly, there is another section of the list that needs your help: blogs that closed in 2009. These are blogs that closed entirely–the person stopped blogging and said specifically that they were not going to post any longer–not blogs that went password protected or the person moved their blog to a new space. If you read a blog that closed during 2009, please send me the title of the blog. It doesn’t matter if it was read by one person or read by 5000 people, all blogs should be honoured and recognized. And all blogs stand on the same plateau here.

Spread the word with the following button on a post or your sidebar to encourage others to send a link:

The code for adding the link to your blog can be found here.

Everyone has a best post. It is your personal best. It is not best by any other standard. Stop comparing yourself. Stop feeling shy. Stop thinking it’s immodest to toot your own horn when I’ve told you to toot your own horn. Start reading through your archives. Reflect on the year. And then send me a link for the list.

Wheew. Sorry about that last part. But everyone in the blogosphere should be represented and honoured.


1 nixy { 11.03.09 at 1:16 pm }

Wow! I’m new to the community, and this is so amazing. I can’t wait to see what comes out of it!

2 Good Egg { 11.03.09 at 2:01 pm }

Hi –

I added a to the beginning of the code and a at the end in order to center it. Looks better 🙂

Oh – for WordPress.

Looking forward to submitting and reading in January.

3 Good Egg { 11.03.09 at 2:02 pm }

OK – so I have to figure out how to send this to you .

“” at the beginning
“” at the end

4 Good Egg { 11.03.09 at 2:04 pm }

Nope that didn’t work – I’m just going to email it now.

5 Good Egg { 11.03.09 at 2:04 pm }

Didn’t work – I”m just going to email it now.

6 HereWeGoAJen { 11.03.09 at 2:54 pm }

Hooray! I love Creme de la Creme. (And every time I say it in my head, I think of Aristocats.)

7 Mrs. Gamgee { 11.03.09 at 2:58 pm }

I’ve been looking forward to this ever since I started reading blogs in the ALI community and started seeing the Creme de la Creme buttons from previous years.

Thank you, Mel for all the work you do to offer opportunities for us to connect!

8 mybumpyjourney { 11.03.09 at 3:18 pm }

What a great idea! I personally am looking for the meerkat post myself.

9 Melissa @ Full Circle { 11.03.09 at 9:35 pm }

Girl, your bootie looks FAB in those jeans! Oh wait.. LOVE comment not suck up comment.. ;o) For reals-I was too chicken to submit last year (“I’m not worthy” – think Wayne’s World singular) but decided take the big plungerino this time around. What the hay, right? I get wild like that. My submission probably isn’t my best but it means the most to me. :o)

10 Romancingthestone { 11.03.09 at 10:20 pm }

Yay! Sounds really exciting and YES I READ every word of the DIRECTIONS. PS- What’s a meerkat? : ) Shell

11 Hope Springs { 11.04.09 at 3:28 am }

So, you say you want love comments? Well, I’ve left you a few hugs over on my blog…

12 a { 11.04.09 at 10:56 am }

As always, I just wanted to let you know that you are amazing!

13 Elizabeth { 11.04.09 at 4:10 pm }

Thanks so much for doing this again Mel – it was so trippy to go back and read all my posts for the year in one sitting. The one I wanted to submit was immediately obvious as soon as I read it. I hope at least one person will read it and nod silently to themselves, just knowing what I mean. “We read [blog] to know we’re not alone.” ~ C. S. Lewis

14 Elizabeth { 11.04.09 at 4:11 pm }

The meerkats that live over here LOVE you!!!! They send lots of little meerkat kisses but alas they can’t type.

15 Jamie { 11.06.09 at 6:01 am }

LOVE Creme de la Creme!!

16 Alana-isms { 11.10.09 at 9:07 am }

How awesome! Can’t wait to see the January list! 🙂

17 Rebecca { 11.12.09 at 11:54 pm }

Looking forward to the January list! Thanks so much for all you do in the IF blogosphere – your efforts are amazing!

18 Kate Lawson { 11.17.09 at 5:06 pm }

Oh man! I’m a meerkat, but I haven’t experienced infertility. Too bad, cuz my blog is AWESOME. What a shame…

19 Maria { 11.21.09 at 2:06 pm }

Hello! Thank you for the nice visit to your blog! This is my first visit here. I’ve been feeling very sad and discouraged about my whole inability to be able to conceive lately. My name is Maria and I’m forty three. I met my husband on a Catholic Singles website and we were married on June 16th, 2007. We have been TTC ever since our wedding with no success. Eight months after marriage I was diagnosed with endometriosis stage four. I’ve had two surgeries so far. Still no success being able to conceive. I want you to know that my heart goes out to you and you are in my thoughts and prayers.

May God Bless you!
Maria Therese In Mass

20 Renee { 11.23.09 at 7:05 pm }

Ok – here’s my issue. I publish my blogs on http://www.adoptivefamiliescircle.com with my real name. I don’t have a cool catch phrase type name yet – and I’m jealous of stirrup queens’ name but it surely doesn’t fit me — so what do I do? Make up a cool name or post with the real one my folks and husband have given me? — Help!

21 Patti { 11.24.09 at 3:14 pm }

I’ve been reading the Creme de la Creme list for a couple of years but never had anything to post myself because we were keeping quiet about our infertility (and now adoption) journey. But that changed this year, so I’ve happy submitted my best post on the form. Definitely looking forward to this years’ list!!

22 Kim { 12.09.09 at 11:20 pm }

Could you please check to see if my submission went through? I’m pretty sure I filled out the form a few weeks ago, but this past week has practically wiped my memory. I don’t want to wait to see the list and realize I accidentally missed out.

Thanks. 🙂

23 caitsmom { 12.16.09 at 11:06 pm }

Ha! I submitted the form straight away, but neglected to comment. Just came back to see what’s up and decided to “make it right.” Thanks for putting this together. It’s really cool, and I love reading other blogs and making more connections. Peace.

24 MLO { 12.27.09 at 1:50 am }

I waited to decide whether to participate. But, this is always a great way to find new and interesting blogs.

25 Dee { 12.29.09 at 5:24 pm }

I wanted to submit one of my entries regarding infant loss. But for some reason it won’t let me. No matter what I do! It keeps giving me an error. I’m on a MAC, don’t know if that’s the problem or not…??

26 Dee { 12.29.09 at 5:25 pm }

This is Dee from “I’m not ashamed of having infertility..just pissed” btw…Hi & thanks for all you do!

27 myinfertilitywoes { 02.08.10 at 11:41 am }

So glad I found this!! Wish I had known about it 2 years ago, but better late than never! What an amazing place for us all to converge and share amazing thoughts, feelings & experiences!

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