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25toFly on The Petecast

There isn’t a post that is better fitting to come after my last one on the Blogging Bureaucracy and doing whatever the hell you want with your blog than today’s. I’ve been yammering about it long enough, and now here it is. My first ever Podcast with Peter Dewolf on the Petecast. It was such a cool experience.

We discussed everything short of the meaning of the universe: Blogger Interactive, favorite parts of blogging, walking your cat on a leash, Myspace, internet projects, video editing (big dreams), VEDA, logistics of podcasting, dating Hanson, meeting boyfriends/girlfriends online, Long Distance Relationships, Skype booty, online dating and more. But then again, I guess these things make up the meaning of my universe.

Listen in HERE

Spread the word. Next week I am going to make an announcement about a give away, but what and why?  Guess you will find out in give or take seven days. Cheers.

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Blogging Bureaucracy

A blog is a space in which to log entries of any kind. A blogger is one who fills the spaces of his or her web log with such entries. The goal is to produce quality content that we enjoy and love. This should be the reason we begin blogging and why we continue. To produce our passions.

blogger

In case they don’t see your tattoo.

So when did being the spectator become more important than being the producer?

When I began blogging, it was hard to ignore the blogging bureaucracy. Like most, I quickly learned the rules of the trade.  They aren’t easy to miss. Guides to blog success are posted at every major intersection of the internet like big electronic billboards: Interact with the right bloggers! Read read read! Don’t forget to comment! Participate in the blogging community! Guest post and reblog!

Got it.

So, upon the birth of 25toFly and my discovery of WordPress, I immediately found a slew of blogs that I liked and followed. I got to know the people behind them. Friendships were formed and everything was just dandy. It was like being in the popular clique that I was never a part of in high school. And it was fun.

But cliques are exclusive, and exclusivity limits the experience. I started to develop bad habits. My writing was laced with inside jokes that half of my readers couldn’t decipher. I was supporting ideas out of loyalty instead of sincerity. I found myself leaving drive-by comments. I stopped giving new blogs the time of day. I second guessed my own content if I didn’t score a certain number of likes. All of which pointed to the glaring fact that I was caught up in a popularity contest. 

like

Need more thumbs.

None of this was fair of me, because none of it was me

Reading other works is important. It can inspire us, help us network with other writers and artists, and give us new perspectives, but without balance and authenticity, it can be detrimental to our own growth.

I was so caught up in what everyone else was doing, that I severely neglected my blog. There was so much to read and so many opportunities to seize. By the time I finished chiming in on everyone else’s conversations, writing a post of my own felt like trying to backstroke through peanut butter. So I wouldn’t write anything at all. The next day, the cycle would begin again as soon as I opened my reader, spinning me around like my shoestrings were tied to a high speed merry-go-round.

I had enough. I fell hush.

secrets

Pleading the fifth

My comments resembled crumbs, and my Gravatar was practically an apparition. At first, I worried. Were all of the people reading my blog only there because I read theirs in return? Is my blog a stinking pile of uncovered cat poop without my comment reciprocation? Will I vanish into an internet black hole never to be “Liked” again? But then, I realized that it didn’t matter, because even if my thoughts rang true, I’d still be blogging.

To my surprise, detaching myself from the noise for a while allowed me to enjoy blogging like I did before the need to be liked took over. When I finally returned to the conversations, I made sure they were the ones I really wanted to be a part of and that my engagement was genuine.

You see, we are all worthy of the Blogger title, whether we are the next Mark Twain or just want to post pictures of our cats. Your blog is yours. Show it some love, and don’t compare it to everyone else’s. Produce what you love, whatever that may be, and make it your priority. Without it, your blog doesn’t exist. So let’s put the blogging bureaucracy to rest. Your blog, your rules.

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Safari

In honor of my 200th post on this blog, I treated myself to a Safari. In the exotic land of Shreveport, LA at a remote location. My parents’ house. Enjoy.

monkey statue

Remember this guy? I found out he is not alone…

jeweled monkey

With all of that bling, how can a monkey look so sad?

Read the rest of this entry

Ordinary Boston

I am not one to let news tragedies affect me and certainly not the ridiculous media coverage that accompanies them, but the Boston Marathon bombing really jarred me. I’ve never felt such hopelessness in humanity. I cried on and off the whole day. What you are about to read is a re-post from almost a year ago about my first experience with traveling out of the south as an adult. It’s about the city of Boston as a place that holds special importance to me. It is a place where I conquered multiple fears at once, where I ejected myself from my comfort zone, and where I took risks. It is just such a stunning place, and in light of recent events, I just want to share this piece again. Thanks for reading. 

Boston Copley

The Stoop

I attempt frugality. As well, I pride myself in my research abilities (most of the time). So, when looking for a place to stay in Boston, I luckily found a steal of a crash pad. The place my friend Ellen and I stayed was The Copley House in the Back Bay area of Boston. After my friend in the area convinced me that it was in a safe area and conveniently located in the center of the attractions, I eagerly made a booking.

Instead of a full-blown generic hotel, each room they offered was an individual and unique apartment. After checking in to the main office on Newton St., we drove to our unit around the corner on a different street. Key in hand, we pulled up and grabbed our bags out of the bed of the truck. As I used my key to turn the old rim dead bolt, I felt like I was in a movie scene yet again. You know, the one where I am a successful full-time writer entering her humble city dwelling.

I almost feel like I am cheating readers by making such a lackluster claim, but the apartment we shacked up in was one of my favorite parts of the trip. I am so glad we did not opt for a cookie cutter corporate hotel. Not only would we have spent a fortune, leaving us little money for gorging Lobster and drowning ourselves in Irish car bombs, but the whole experience would have been completely different; think way less traditional character and a lot more generic plastic key card. Read the rest of this entry

Without Chains

I am so cliché right now:  barely touching my Japanese takeout, wearing work out pants that I mainly wear when I am not working out, and sitting on the faux wood floor of my soon to be ex apartment. It’s every bit a scene out of a familiar movie. It mimics that one montage scene in which the main character is making some sort of significant transition; picture clips of furniture slowly disappearing from a dwelling as the main character is going through a very obvious and dramatic emotionally reflective period. There is usually some heavy sound track playing in the background for added effect.

Shit. I have my Ipod playing in the back ground right now, and I am sitting on the floor all aloof. Can you surpass cliché? What would that be called?

Although my dumplings are cold, I have to admit that the sound of my favorite Pandora radio station reverberating between my scant living room walls actually feels comforting. It is a good thing I also have 7 layer dip to counteract the cold take-out. I should just go ahead and start making origami piñatas while I am at it. After all, all of my entertaining gadgets are stacked like a failed game of Tetris into a bunch of overpriced boxes at the moment.

cat oragami

This is the best I can do.

There is something incredibly relieving about freeing yourself from material belongings. Read the rest of this entry

Time to RSVP for Blogger Summit 2013!

In just about seven months, a black hole will manifest itself. It is the good, non-scary kind of black hole where people of the internet will converge a la reality. That’s right people, the date was determined (pretty much by a land slide) for the Blogger Summit 2013! Hold on to your long johns people. Mine are already packed.

lap top battery meme

Don’t forget to bring your chargers.

Jen has created a lovely official e-invite for the occasion and we are asking y’all to please RSVP if you are down like a comforter. To do so, just click here, and try not to have a stroke in eager anticipation. We want to herd as many bloggers as we can possible can into a farm of awesome for this event, and that’s where you can help. Please do us a favor and reblog, tweet, Facebook pimp, and take to the streets with megaphones to spread the word.

ALSO, we are going to attempt to make some sort of blable (logo, button, whatever you people call them) to represent the meet up and help publicize it. It will not only help spread the word but it will also be a great sidebar ornament for your blog after you survive the actual meet up. But, we need an image. Read the rest of this entry

Coming Out of The Closet

I’ve been out of the closet for quite some time now. It wasn’t as scary as I originally anticipated either. You have all proven yourselves as very tolerant, understanding, and accepting individuals.

blonde becca

Blonde circa 2007. You can tell by the choker.

Although I have been a fully transitioned ginger for over a year now, I am genetically a blonde. My journey certainly hasn’t been an easy one. Red comes with a price. Today, I’d like to share with you my constant battle to remain blonde free. Some days are better than others, some treatments yield better results than others, and awkwardness often prevails. This is my story. Read the rest of this entry

Blogger Summit Update #2

Nine days. It had been nine whole days since I had so much as looked at the “add new” post button before I wrote my blogiversary post yesterday. Nine days in internet time is equal to about nine months in real-time. I could have had a blog baby for all you know. Don’t get any ideas, I wasn’t off making blabies. What I was doing was visiting with an incredible blogger from the Motor City. You probably know him as Adam from My Right to Bitch, The Artist Formerly Known as My Right to Bitch, or more recently Live From Motor City or maybe just that hilarious drummer dude that I was lucky enough to virtually drink fake sake with that one time.

Adam and Jack

All shoe laces are belong to Jack.

That’s right, he drove himself insane all the way down here to Louisiana to hang out, help me fix my poorly assembled bar stools (ten cool points for anyone who remembers this old ass post), drink beers with me and introduce Jack to the joys of chewing gum. The experience was well deserving of an Adamesque rock hand  \m/  to say the least! And, in case you were wondering, he is just as attractive in person.  Read the rest of this entry

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