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After considerable trial and error, one of the most important discoveries I made when I was a creative writing student at Oberlin College was finding my voice as a poet. Until I could tap into that intrinsic, pure, uniquely identifiable me, all I was doing was stringing words together with interesting line breaks. Over time, as a prose writer, I learned that my voice had different colors and tones, and that I could dispense with line breaks and keep sentences flowing, one after the other, to tell a story. This past year, as a relatively new blogger, I’ve experienced the twin thrills of immediacy and intimacy—by expressing my voice as The Midlife Second Wife, I began hearing from readers all over the world for whom, for whatever reason, my voice was compelling. Last week, I experienced another thrill: out of nearly 1,700 entries, readers and editors at BlogHer chose one of my posts and selected me as a Voice of the Year (VOTY) for 2012, in the category of Heart. (The other categories are Humor, Identity, Op-Ed, Parenting, and Visuals.) All in all, the jurors selected only 110 bloggers for VOTY. The awards will be conferred at the Community Keynote of BlogHer’s annual conference, held at the Hilton New York in August.

This is extraordinary recognition from an organization for which I have the utmost respect and admiration. As I begin reading through the other winning blog posts, it’s clear that I’m in phenomenal company. I extend my warmest congratulations to the other honorees, my deepest thanks to the judges, and my heartiest appreciation to you, my loyal readers.

You can read my winning post, “A Tale of Two Deaths: Losing My Mother to Alzheimer’s, Part I,” by clicking this link. As difficult a subject as this was to write—I posted this last November and found it was too painful to go on—I will be completing the series. My mother deserves to have her story told, and I dedicate my BlogHer VOTY award to her memory.