Tag Archives: blogging

Out of the Comedy Groove

Lately I feel like I’ve gotten out of my comedy groove.  I’ve been treading water and although I learned to swim, I didn’t properly learn how to tread water.  It has something to do with moving your legs in different directions like egg beaters except that I don’t really use egg beaters unless I’m at my parents house and at home I just use a whisk and they don’t teach the ‘whisk’ way to tread water because you have two legs.

Let’s alter this metaphor.  I feel as though I’m up to my eyes in life.  Which also is technically not possible and I would come up with a better metaphor if I weren’t up to my eyeballs.

I had a week and I’m trying to bounce back and I can’t get enough air under me.  I can see the humor in it all but I can’t make it funny.  I feel like my squeaker is broken.

I threw 2 bday parties with over 13 kids each within 24 hours.   I had to do forensic accounting and find missing money (which sounds cool but is really depressing.).  An old friend decided to be ungracious, I woke up to be told I have skin cancer (minor, non-threatening, really just more of a pain kind) and then I got a migraine at the end of my triathlon.

There is TONS of material in here.  I mean all of this happened within a week.  And instead of it happening in 3’s, it happened in 6’s which just seems unfair and yet incredibly hilarious.  It’s unfortunate I didn’t get it in pictures.

I am definitely learning that no matter what happens in life, we can’t judge other people because they may have woken up and realized that every single kindergartener was in fact coming to the birthday party that night and they only had 12 squirt guns.  When faced with this type of pressure, a person is going to snap and it may happen while you’re watching.

So next time you find someone twitching while in line at Target, instead of passing judgement, pass them a Diet Coke.

(See?  I just don’t have it.  I think the migraine killed some brain cells.)
(I’m hoping the procedure to remove skin one layer at a time brings the funny back.)

Someone who does this to themselves should never lose their comedy groove.

Someone who does this to herself should never lose her comedy groove.

And the Award Goes to…

Recently, two of my friends nominated me for the Liebster and Very Inspiring blog awards.  Michael of It Rains… You Get Wet and Liv Rancourt have been big supporters of mine and I can’t express my appreciation enough.  They will never know how much they have kept me going…  (Including the week I was deciding whether or not to keep writing, they both unknowingly nominated me…)

But in true blog awards fashion, that’s enough about them, for now.  Let’s turn it all to me.
I must tell you a few things about myself.  Liebster asks for 11 and Very Inspiring asks for 7 so I’m giving you 9.

1.  I was a nanny in Germany.  I’m pretty sure this is where I picked up my amazing child-rearing abilities.  I’m a better mom when I speak to my kids in German.  I believe this is because they can’t understand me.

2.  I became hooked on English literature when I bought Anne’s House of Dreams (book 5 of Anne of Green Gables). But I thought it was a “romance” when I bought it.  At age 10.

3.  I bought Anne’s House of Dreams after finishing EVERY Sweet Valley High book written at that time. (Jessica was a *****.)

4.  I pride myself in buying amazing shoes.  However, my friend Hollie says this needs an asterisk next to my horse Birkenstocks.

5.  I befriend people who are often wrong.  (See number 4).

6.  I did my best to build a house in New England cottage style and design in the middle of Montana.

7.  I like to leave rants on friends phones.  Occasionally the subject has been how no one truly appreciates my horse Birkenstocks.

8.  People think I have a more wild side than I actually do.  I think this is due to the fact I’m ok with drinking Diet Coke at seedy bars.

9.  I question if I should’ve bought the cow Birkenstocks instead.

The Liebster Award then asks me to answer the questions Michael gave me; so here it goes.

1.  What is your favorite song or piece of music you put on to pull you out of a funk?
This changes often.  Right now: Somebody Told Me by the Killers and Forever Young sung by Youth Group due to my current O.C. problem.

2.  Favorite book you read (or listened to) in 2012?
Imperfections by Brad Somer.  I met him and then I read it.  Meet authors whenever you can.  It makes the books better.

3.  Frank Capra’s James Stewart or Anthony Mann’s?
Frank Capra’s.  (Please don’t tell my father.)

4.  Your favorite British film is?
Lawrence of Arabia.  But Monty Python’s Holy Grail is very close.

5.  What is your preferred Paddy Chayefsky screenplay (for television or motion pictures)?
Network.

6. What was the best-loved book you read in high school?
Emma by Jane Austen.  I read it for fun and then I had to interpret a section of it for an entrance exam.  I think this was the first time I truly felt studious. And perhaps pretentious.

7.  The best movie you saw as a high school senior?
Defending Your Life.  I remember laughing so hard I couldn’t breath.

8.  Your most-liked song before graduating high school?
Losing My Religion by REM.  There may have been a slight obsession with the band.  It’s all very vague now.  And sealed by the courts.

9.  Evelyn Mulray or Diana Christensen?
Diana Christensen (flows with #5)

10.  Your favorite film that you don’t ever want to see again?
Lawrence of Arabia
*on DVD.  I saw it in a theater in college.  I could do that again.

11.  The one song that will instantly cause you to change the cable channel, radio station, whatever, when it comes on is?
Real Housewives.  I just can’t do it.  You’d think I could, but I can’t.  I’m sorry.

Now is the time I’m supposed to nominate others for these awards but I want to do something different.  I want to highlight the people who nominated me and tell you to read them.

It Rains… You Get Wet has taught me an amazing amount about film.  He writes; I google and watch.  My favorite posts are his answers to surveys because I find gems I didn’t know about.  He is an encouraging blogger whose comments make my day.  If you are interested in film, look him up.  Your life will be better.

Liv Rancourt is an author of paranormal chick- lit and romance.  She is also a nurse and one of the best SongPop players ever.  I am often amazed at all she does and how supportive she is of writers in general.  Her blog is the perfect place for links to other authors, information on writing, and life.  And she just got gorgeous head shots so you can check her out literally.

And now it’s your turn…  I want to know what one of your answers to the 11 questions would be…

Very-Inspiring-Blog-Award2 liebster-blog-award

An Alleged (3 month long) Panic Attack

Where have I been?  I’ve been living in a small town.  And it caused a slight panic this summer.

At the beginning of summer, I did a triathlon sprint distance and I was feeling pretty proud of myself.  So I decided to go for a road bike ride in the morning and a mountain bike ride in the evening in June.  During the mountain bike ride, I crashed.  And I ended up landing on a handlebar that somehow was bent straight up.  It hurt.

I had to get surgery, to make sure all the veins and arteries weren’t too badly destroyed.

This sounds bad, but to be honest, it wasn’t the worst part.

The worst part was the fact that EVERYONE knew.  I woke up the day after the surgery to see that I actually knew my surgeon and had gone to Christmas parties with him.  My husband would come home from work, ask me if I knew someone because they’d heard about my accident. I didn’t always know them.

I left the country right after, so Kevin wanted extra opinions this would be ok so I saw a couple extra doctors.  A friend went KAYAKING and my accident came up.  (It came up a lot mountain biking, but that’s within context.)  Another friend went to a quilt shop in ANOTHER town and heard about it.  I went to the public pool and saw my general practitioner and made a fool out of myself (future writing there.)  For about 4 weeks, I was asked how I was.  This is incredibly nice but odd when you can’t figure out how someone knows…

Having people know details about my anatomy and discuss it kind of freaked me out.

THEN, ok, this is where I admit slight stupidity, I messaged two friends on Facebook and I wanted to delete the messages.  You can’t delete personal messages.  I felt like an idiot for what I’d written and there was NOTHING I could do about it.  (You can delete posts, so I thought you could delete personal messages.  There is some logic there.  Give me a break.  Didn’t you hear?  I was in an accident.)

And then I realized the world is very, very small.

I know I wrote about the accident on here, but who reads this? At least in town…  I’m huge in Taiwan.  On Thursdays.

I freaked. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to keep blogging because I was freaking out about people knowing things about me and to continue to write about myself on the Internet seemed counter-intuitive.  (All of my therapists agreed.)  So I stepped back and I really couldn’t decide what to do.  I did pretty much the only thing a person should do in an indecisive situation.

I put the question to Facebook.  And 5 people said yes.  So here I am.

But some things will change.

1.  Due to copyright, I will be posting personal and probably unrelated and unidentifiable photos instead of relative ones from the internet.

Ooh Look! Park Lake!

2.  Occasionally I will make something completely up to see if people in town really do read this.

3.  And during Chinese New Year, my entries will be entirely in Mandarin.

What do you think?

What I’m giving up for Writing

I have decided to make writing my job.  I read these two posts on wordbitches and Kristen Lamb’s blog, both on treating writing like a job and realized that I owe it to myself and to my family, really, to take myself more seriously.  Instead of a word count, I will be working on hours a day.  I want a part time job of 20 hours a week.  I have to take what I really and truly want more seriously.  I want to write.  So I start my new job on Monday.

The other job I am giving myself is to get in shape.  I will be 40 in a year.  I have written about how excited I am about this.  When I mentioned in my book group that I was dreading my birthday, they asked me if it was my 30th.  They drink wine during book group.  A LOT of wine.  But I must say I take pretty good care of my skin.  I’m masking right now.

My friend Elena Aitken gave me a workout schedule to run a 5k in March and doing something with weights on off days.  It may actually kill me.  Right now, the only part of my body that doesn’t hurt is my fingers.  Otherwise I would not be able to type this.  Which is good because I’m starting my other job on Monday.

But between these two things, I’ve got to cut down on something.  I jog while watching TV or I do laundry while studying medicine (by watching House or  Grey’s Anatomy.  Their medical experts are the closest I will get to medical school.)

So I can keep TV and laundry.  I don’t clean my house now so I can’t really give that up.

I think personal hygiene may have to go because at my age it takes a REALLY long time to look good.  You have to keep masks on for ten minutes and then rinse AFTER you have already washed your face.  It’s a whole extra step.

I also think giving it up will give me more time to write because no one will want to be around me.  But like most artists, I will sacrifice for my art.

Went through my pictures and thought this might be ok to represent bad hygiene.

Because I’m a Rebel

As someone who is doing her best to “get out there,” I read a lot of blogs by agents, authors, and people with all around good advice.  One thing they all say: “Be polite on your blog.  Remember it’s public.  Don’t go on rants (or at least not on a regular basis.)”

This can be hard because I have to remind myself that people I am not actually related to read this.  People who I have not actually met read this (at least two of them.)  My unfailing wish of goodness for all people does not always come across in my writing.  Especially when I am giving the top ten list why certain people should not be allowed to work a cash register. (I have not actually written this but I can think of three right now.)

But sometimes being polite gets to be too much.  Sometimes I want to use this really tiny platform to make a really tiny stand and rant and rave; politeness be damned.  Which is how I am feeling right now and I hope you don’t mind.

So right now, although you can’t see me, just trust me, I am writing this while chewing with my mouth full AND my elbows are on the table.

Ok. I’m done.   Because I don’t plan on being impolite too often, my next ranting probably won’t occur until I start Christmas shopping.

(Sorry no pictures.  If I post a picture of my rebellion, my mom will call and ask if she didn’t teach me better.  I need plausible deniability.)

Imperfection

I am reading a book.  To make it amazing, let me add that I am reading a book without vampires or shirtless men.  Now I can feel the awe.

It is called The Gifts of Imperfection.  It is about how we need vulnerability in our lives to connect with each other.  Everyone has shame in our lives, but by acknowledging our shame and telling our stories, we can overcome it.  Courage is telling our stories and liking who we are in the process.

That is really hard.  Blogging does not always help.

I started this blog to share writing.  That is all.  I didn’t care about statistics or pings or tweets or a bunch of other words that did not actually have meaning five years ago.  I want to write and have people read my writing.  I also want to be published on actual paper that comes out of a publishing company and not my home printer.  So I started learning about marketing and platforms and other stuff.  And I forgot about enjoying writing or maybe just enjoying.

I wondered why some posts got 500 hits and some got -2.  I wondered what made this blogger popular and this one not.  I wondered why so many writing blogs tell you not to read writing blogs.  And I started to believe I wasn’t good enough = shame.

Now I am realizing that my blog isn’t really about building a platform or marketing fiction I am writing.  I have the most fun writing when I feel like I am letting people know that they aren’t the only one out there who hears voices in the shoe department or who questions whether or not her children will grow up big and strong with all of the failings of their mother.  (Actually, my children will grow up to be big due to genetics which is why I believe McDonald’s is totally ok for them WHENEVER I forget dinner or have scheduled piano, swimming, and gymnastics with only a 20 minute break and I am not the type who thinks about it before it actually happens so I do not have a picnic in my trunk.  I will next week.)

I just thought I would share in case anyone else out there worries about their blogs stats 🙂 (and decides whether or not to get out of bed depending on them.)  (Feel free to interchange blog stats with other nouns as well.  And if you would like me to write about other topics I am completely human in, let me know.  The Imperfection book talks about self-compassion as well and realizing I am not the only person who wants to wear a Barry Manilow tshirt today but knows they aren’t stylish and therefore thinks I should wear the green shirt instead but then refuses to let society dictate what I wear so I wear the Manilow shirt and then covers it with a hoodie.)

Going Back to Previous Programming.

Hi.  I’m Marianne.  I had an unrealistic dream a goal to write three times a week on my blog and to rule the social media universe.  Then I woke up and realized that I wasn’t doing well with it.  I didn’t feel what I wrote was as good as it was when I found a spark of something interesting to write about and wrote then.  Having three deadlines a week just doesn’t work for me.  I began writing a lot about a certain TV show and since I have about two weeks of episodes left, I need to get a new topic.  (But I must add that by the end of Brandon and Kelly, I was really sick of Brandon and Kelly.  I almost shot my TV.)

So I am going to step back for a little while and write when I receive inspiration, and I feel creative and I feel master of the metaphor.  Or I feel anchored in alliteration.  Or I need advice.

And I have decided to not rule the social media universe.  After watching King’s Speech, I have decided that ruling isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.  And seeing all of the publicity Will and Kate have had (I would be scared to sneeze in public if I were her) I think I will be ok not photographing myself buying toilet paper while in the grocery store and writing about how I am just like other people because I buy toilet paper.  This is my favorite part of US Weekly because it is truly poetic absurd – the “Celebrities are just like us” section where they drive their own cars and walk on the sidewalk.  Whoever came up with this is a marketing genius.  Can you imagine the meeting?  The publisher is looking at a table with a bunch of not sensational pictures, and asks:  Why do we have 345 pictures of Tom Cruise eating a deviled egg and what are we going to do with them?

Answers soon to be promoted to chief editor employee:  Let’s put it in the magazine to show people that celebrities who haven’t brushed their own hair for the last five years and who eat one slice of turkey every three days to maintain calorie intake, are really just the same as I am while I am sitting here in sweats I slept in wondering if I don’t wash my hair until Friday will it look really good for my date with Steve?

And the Publisher realizes this is a gold mine for really stupid pictures and the rest is history.

I'm just like you: I want to put lights up for Christmas, but when I get outside and it is -10, I decide one strand on a twig/tree is festive enough.

That was a great tangent.

I’ll see you again when I think of another one.