A Three Month Personal Blogging Experiment.

Ready for my confession?

Image Confessional sign with occupied light

By Antonio de La Mano

If I am going to be totally honest, I think I’ve hoped that somehow I’d write a magical post that would change my life. Now that I’ve shoved those delusions under the carpet, it’s time to take a nice hard look at myself and my blog and here’s what I’ve figured out:

I don’t write because I want it to be perfect. I want it to be funny or superbly researched. I want it to be original –granted the potty training and travel countdown lists aren’t exactly new but at least one of them was popular!

I start things and then find myself unable to finish them. Take musical Mondays in December, according to my blog we had one Monday last month. I have a 100 pending drafts that I don’t finish because I am afraid they aren’t good enough and I am going to lose readers. The over-analyzing has just about drained every last mL of my willpower. If I debate myself over the use of American or CommonWealth spelling one more time, I might actually cut my fingers off. I am beyond exhausted.

I’ve been feeling overwhelmed. Can you tell? Yes, unbelievably overwhelmed despite being pretty good at trying to live by a slow philosophy. The problem is that it’s tricky to maintain, especially when everyone around you seems to be a constant hive of activity. Oi! Stop buzzing and making me look bad!

I think I’ve got things sussed and suddenly I’m over-committed to mental ideas and projects and promises, most of which aren’t income earning, and I can’t breathe and want to curl up in a foetal position and sleep until the dawn of a new age – one where there is no more technology, which of course I’ll enjoy for about 24 hours before longing for the gentle glow of my touch screen. But I can’t curl up, because my student loans need to be deferred, again.

The current thorn in my side are two projects that have been sitting around for so long. How long you ask? Years people, like 2007. Oh god, I’ve just realised that in three years, it will have been a decade. I can no longer wake, eat, or sleep without guilt permeating from every pore of my body. (And I am totally lying there are loads of musty, damp projects that busy mental spiders have spun endless threads of webs around without actually catching any flies but let’s conveniently ignore that for now.)

My plan had been to spend the next three months taking a break from blogging on my personal site to allow me to finish at least one if not both projects. But now I have something else in mind. Something better, or so I hope.

I have ideas all the time and I let them flutter away. I sat on what I thought was a brilliant idea forever. Fifteen months later, the BBC published a similar piece on their website. <Clears throat> Not like the BBC has ever shown any interest in me but it would have been nice to have one pre-dating theirs!

So for the next three months I am just going to dump content on my site. It will be my chance to slice my painful mental abscess and just let it all ooze out, no questions asked. This will probably kill off any chance I’ve ever had of monetizing this thing but so be it.

I am excited. Are you? Maybe you shouldn’t answer that. Ok, time to see what’s been putrefying in the old noodle! Here we go…

P.S. Typos are where I draw the line. It’s the equivalent of leaving the house in yesterday’s underwear, unless of course you are only just getting home. If you see them, please let me know!

P.P.S. Would you have liked this as a vlog?

Happy Thanksgiving: I Am Thankful For You.

Thank you picture

It’s been a long, slow, and hard trip back into writing since I started occasionally pecking away at my keyboard back in 2010. The one thing that has kept me on track is you. Knowing that you come to my site and read my posts, when  I manage to actually get something up, is a guaranteed ray of sunshine.

Those of you who comment or like the posts, well heck, that’s a rainbow!

I am trying to write more these days. I hope you won’t find it too much. I am honored and I am grateful to have you as my readers.

Growing up, Thanksgiving was and continues to be my favorite holiday. It felt like the perfect time to say thank you!

Wishing you all the best,

MultilingualMama xx, who has yet to master the un-strained selfie.


Flattered and Grateful Despite Mysterious Origins…

Liebster Blog pic.
Ok, so yesterday I got this comment saying I was nominated for a Liebster award. I’ll be honest, I’d never heard of it and, when I googled it, all of the entries were from other people who’d never heard of it and couldn’t find an ‘official’ entry anywhere. I did manage to source the rules and even a nifty little image displayed above.

So here’s the thing, I don’t care about its origins. I don’t care if I never discover who started this thing. I am simply delighted to have someone nominate me! Let’s face it, I’ve been surfing blogs for some time and often seen writers with, well entire strings of these things, who’ve had to write a post and select the next round of recipients.

And as any normal person would,  I’ve found myself thinking:  ‘oh maybe, maybe, they might select me! I seem to recall them liking or commenting on a post!!’  I scroll anxiously to the bottom, skimming to see if my name is there and always I end up with nada.  It’s one of the few times the many voices in my head synchronize and, like donkey in the original Shrek, yell: ‘pick me, pick me, pick meeeeeeee’.

Finally I just stopped thinking about it and BAM, my pot not watched started to boil!

So here is a big big thank you to Speak your mind! Not only did you pick me, but when I went to read your post, I realized that you broke the ‘pick sites with less than 200 followers’ rule and that made me feel special.

Special because my first reaction was inevitably the: ‘oh I got selected because she couldn’t find enough sites with less than 200 followers’. (Yes my inner critic is relentless these days.)

And here we go:

Voila, the rules:

  • When you receive the award, you post 11 random facts about yourself
  • Answer 11 questions from the person who nominated you.
  • Pass the award onto 11 other blogs, making sure you tell them you nominated them! and
  • Ask them 11 questions.
  • You are not allowed to nominate the blog who nominated you!
  • Make sure the blogs you chose have 200 or LESS followers

11 random things about me

1. I love dogs. I don’t just love dogs. I LOVE dogs. The smell of wet dog is something that brings me comfort…really.

2. I don’t understand people who drink skim milk. Why not just drink water? It tastes the same and its free.

3. I carry around a bright yellow motorcycle helmet with me everywhere; I don’t own a motorcycle.

4. I’ll drink the rest of my vinaigrette straight out of the salad bowl if I’ve made/finished a tomato salad and don’t have any bread with which to soak it up.

5. I regret more than I care to admit to.

6. River Phoenix gave me a kiss on my sixteenth birthday at the Wetlands club in NYC.

7. America’s trend of ever perfectly straight aligned, filed, and whiter than white teeth seriously freaks me out.

8. I used to suck my thumb and I am sure had I not stopped, I wouldn’t suffer from the bouts of insomnia I’ve been plagued by in recent years.

9. I swear like a truck driver (trying not to) and yet am unimpressed by people who swear.

10. I  despise the Yoga culture yet am devoted to Yoga practice.

11.  I live with a plethora of contradictions which both bothers me and doesn’t.

The 11 questions I’ve been asked to answer:

1. What are you proud of in your life?
My daughters, which is rather silly since biology had more to do with that than anything else. Otherwise the one thing I am really proud of is successfully teaching a young man how to sail a single-handed dinghy.  He’d had a deeply traumatic water experience and would hyperventilate when his feet touched the water. Really I didn’t do much but try to support his courage but seeing him set off to sail in the bay and the end of our course and then handing him his certificate that evening is the proudest day in my life.
2. What are you afraid of?
My children suffering. (and wet squishy things underfoot in the ocean). Before having kids, I was afraid of dying. I still am but the fear of them suffering unnecessarily is greater.
3. Is there a bad habit in your life you would like to get rid of?
Procrastination, but I keep putting off doing anything about it.
4. If you could travel anywhere right now, where would you immediately go?
Lapland. Can you tell Christmas is around the corner, and I am in the tropics?
5. What if you could change the world, where would you start?
“If we could change ourselves, the tendencies in the world would also change. As a man changes his own nature, so does the attitude of the world change towards him…” -Gandhi.
You may have come across this as ‘be the change you want to see in the world’ He never actually said those words but it’s a evolution of his original words.
On a more tangible level, I’d start with the degradation of the environment, which leads to all manner of evils when people come under stress from lack of water/food/habitat.
6. How many languages do you speak?
I’d say two and a half but this is a tricky question since it depends how you define ‘speaking a language’. I am bilingual English/French. I am just about getting to an intermediate level of Spanish. My Thai is taxi-Thai though I am making a concerted effort to take it up a notch.  Very basic ASL. I used to speak Italian decently but that is long gone and buried. And I can pick up bits and bobs of Turkish and Danish.
7. Do you have a favourite topic you read about on blogs, magazines, etc.?
I don’t know if they are my favorite but I often find myself reading about politics and food. G-d I am so mundane.
8. What do you wish for in your life?
Well if I knew that…
Inner peace mostly.
9. If you are celebrating Christmas, will you have a Christmas tree at home?
Yes and yes.
10. Is there a hobby you happen to be crazy about, even if it is a bit weird?
Sailing but since I haven’t been able to do that in nearly a decade, I’ve replaced it with baking bread; it doesn’t quite rise to the level but will have to do these days.
11. Who do you admire the most in this world?
People who put themselves in danger in order to protect others. Right now a young woman who just died, protecting her students in a senseless and tragic massacre comes to mind. Her name was Victoria Soto.
Historically, Rosa Parks.

The 11 bloggers (in no particular order), I would like to nominate and to invite to take part in this award:

Please Note: in many cases, I don’t know if my fabulous nominees have less than 200 followers but I love their blogs so I am trying not to obsess on this detail.

And the 11 questions I’d like the nominees (and anyone else who fancies it) to answer:

  1. What are you reading now?
  2. Where would you live and why?
  3. What is the one piece of advice you would give your teenage self if you could?
  4. Pirate or Ninja?
  5. What gives you goosebumps?
  6. What are you most proud of?
  7. What is the most beautiful song you’ve ever heard? (unless you’ve answered that under question 5)
  8. What makes your hackles rise?
  9. What is the thing you wish you could have said but didn’t?
  10. Who do you admire most?
  11. If you could be reincarnated and chose any talent or career, what would it be?

I bid thee all a lovely day.