Recap of 12th Living Out Loud project: To all the girls/guys I've loved before

This was by far one of the hardest Living Out Loud Projects so far (for me at least), so kudos to those you who rose to the challenge. It's always hard to write something personal about someone else that both you and that person can bear to read. Which is why I'm so pleased to have as many entries as I did this month, given the tough subject and my lack of promotion for it (December was a hectic month for me). Let's see what everyone brought to the table for our reading pleasure. Grace's To All the Girls/Guys I've Loved Before This is a great entry and very true to what I envisioned for this month's theme. Let's all just gloss over the train wreck portions of any past relationships and focus on how it felt to be held. And I totally agree that we have much to learn from each relationship we're in, no matter if it's the "right" one or not.

Megan's Ode to an Ex For obvious reasons Megan's subject matter is near and dear to my heart. It's been a big year or so for her as she's found a friend she'd lost for a long time and gained some more connections from it to boot. The boy she loved all those years ago is not the man I'm married to today in many ways, but there are lots of great features they share in common.

SuziCate's Love is Not Always Lovely SuziCate worried she didn't really qualify for this theme given her early marriage, but I found all her crushes and fleeting romances educational all the same. I certainly didn't have a long list of previous beaus myself. I found myself rooting for the nice guys over the hunks in her list.

Deb's To All The Girls/Guys I've Loved Before I admit to being a little bummed Deb didn't write about her most recent Ex, because I think there has to be a great story in there. But like she said, that's a little to close to home still. I did love reading her line of what she learned from each relationship. I still think there's someone out there who would be affectionate with her and give her plenty to talk about.

And my own An open love letter to my ex-husband

Again, huzzah to each and every one of you who participated this month. I knew this would be a challenge but wanted to finish out the first year of this project with a theme that really spoke to the idea behind this of sharing part of ourselves with everyone.

This month I pick Deb as our winner. Her list was simple, but I loved a lot about it. Even her preface of "for every relationship that failed there was a happy beginning" really gives a great snapshot of what I was trying to do this month. Deb will be getting a $25 Amazon gift certificate as her prize. Hooray for Deb!

As we close out this first year of Living Out Loud, I want to personally thank all of you for taking part in it. We've had 35 authors participate this year and countless readers and comments. I hope that these topics entertain you and keep you on your mental toes. I'm looking forward to the next year!