Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Happy Paper Anniversary!

It's my anniversary!

It was a year ago that I wrote my first blog post for Sweet Romance Reads.

paper stars
I was so thrilled to have joined this wonderful group of authors of sweet romance. I felt like I'd finally found "my tribe," as they say! I am even more thrilled and grateful a whole year later.

Tradition would say it's our paper anniversary.

Back in September, I attended a 50th anniversary party, which I wrote about on this blog in Be Kind: A 50-Years-and-Counting Love Story. Silver, gold, diamond - they mark the biggies, the major mileposts of a long journey together.

But a first anniversary in a relationship is a pretty important event, too, I think. It marks a year of laying down foundations of trust and friendship, of learning the little things about each other that knit the fabric of a couple's love, of making memories that will keep their relationship warm when life out there gets cold.

The custom of associating certain items or materials to each anniversary seems pretty recent. Apparently, the Romans marked only the 25th and 50th wedding anniversaries. In 1922, Emily Post listed only eight "important" anniversaries deserving of recognition - the first was one of them. According to Wikipedia, the National Retail Jewelers Association came up with a list assigning materials and gemstones to each anniversary in 1937, as a marketing ploy. Not surprisingly, they didn’t recommend giving your beloved paper jewelry for a first anniversary - they were pushing mother-of-pearl.

So why does tradition declare that paper is the right symbol for a first anniversary? Debrett's, Emily Post, Wikipedia and the Chicago Public Library (which publishes the "official" anniversary gift list) all concur that paper it is. Yet, there seems to be no reason given. One can assume it was because paper was cheap. It's also fragile. Maybe that's why.

But paper is also incredibly versatile. It can be made from different kinds of fibers - wood, cotton, hemp or other materials. It can be any color. It can be thick or see-through-thin, smooth or bumpy. It can, indeed, be made into wonderful jewelry, folded into delicate origami cranes or used to build a house. Paper fills the covers of books and holds the stories of humankind.

Paper, like a new marriage, can be turned into almost anything you can imagine.

Every author knows that a blank sheet of it can be at once the most terrifying way to face your fears and the beginning of the most extraordinary journey.

As a writer, I hope to fill many pages of paper this year (of the virtual as well as the actual variety) and to bring you more sweet romances to read.

But first, I want to say thank you to my fellow Sweet Romance Reads authors for a wonderful first year together, filled with precious support and friendship that has helped us launch and share many pages of delightful reading into the world. It's been an honor and a privilege. And lots of fun.

Happy Anniversary! 

Reclaiming Home by Milou Koenings
Milou Koenings writes romance because, like chocolate, stories with a happy ending bring more joy into the world and so make it a better place.

Her novel, Reclaiming Home, A Green Pines Romance, is available at Amazon

You can find her on her website,, on Facebook, Goodreads or Twitter.


  1. Aww! You're, welcome, Milou. I love being part of this group, too. Here's to many more years together.

  2. Happy paper anniversary. I wonder, too, if the 1st anniversary was "Paper" to replace the stationary used during the first year of marriage. A new wife might have written home a lot during that first year?

  3. Happy Anniversary, Milou! Loved your post and so happy to be a part of this group with you!

  4. What a great post! Happy paper anniversary!

  5. I was in the right place at the right time when I saw the post about forming this group. So glad I was! Happy anniversary!