You never know who might stumble across your blog

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Today is this blog's first birthday!

And I had this whole entry planned out (really, I did) complete with the following bad poem (which I shall only give you the beginning of, since that's all I've written so far):

One year ago today, this blog was won
And one year later, this blog is one!*

* Take THAT, 9th Grade Mathematics teacher who swore that I would never be able to reason with logic when it comes to any number above zero and added that I will subsequently also never amount to anything!

So yeah, I really had this long post planned out (it was all perfectly crafted in my head, which is, sadly, where most of my perfectly crafted words forever remain) about how this blog was sponsored by Emily (who dreamed up the contest and gave me my domain, and who has consistently bailed me out of several jams related to my ill knowledge of anything remotely technological), Joelle (who designed this blog with her usual flair) and Christine (my gracious hostess) and how lovely it's been to have a blog of my very own and how utterly astounding it still is to have actual readers and comments that aren't spam!

And I was going to thank all three of you, my loyal readers, for wasting your precious time by reading and commenting on here.

And I was going to say how sorry I am that I'm so notoriously bad for not responding to all the lovely comments that I get, using the fact that I'm a forgetful procrastinator as an excuse for not replying.

And I was going to share my New Blog Year resolutions with you, including the resolution that I shall from now on reply to your comments IN the comments on the blog... that way you'll see that you're really NOT being ignored, and that way I won't run the risk of losing the e-mails notifying me of your comments in the sea of spam I have to wade through on a daily basis, and that way it will also look as if I have an impressive amount of comments on my blog even though the reality is that I don't.

And I was going to give a shout-out to Kalisa and Carmen, who were also winners in last year's Win-a-Blog contest.

And I was going to resolve to try and indulge in less parentheses (who am I kidding, though?) and I was going to promise to try and write better. (Again, who am I kidding!?)

And I was going to tell you that, in case you were hoping that this blog would go dark now that my freebie year is up, I'm sorry to disappoint you, but the boy has just bought the blog a birthday cake and renewed everything that had to be renewed (except for the hosting. Thanks for your e-mail and your assurance that you won't cut me off, Christine!), so I'll be up and running for at least another year.

But my plan to write all of this in a nice long post suddenly flew out the window, because this afternoon, out of the blue, I received the most astonishing e-mail!

Remember my latest hero, Pulitzer Prize winning columnist Connie Schultz? (If you don't, scroll down to the previous entry, because that's where I gushed about her.)

This afternoon, as I was performing my daily ritual of deleting thousands of spam mails, I suddenly saw an e-mail with a subject that caused me to do a double-take before causing me to launch into a long and high-pitched scream.

It said:

From Connie Schultz, The Plain Dealer.


Here's what she wrote:

I came across your blog today, courtesy of a friend, and I want to thank you for your incredibly kind entry about my writing. You are quite the writer
yourself, which makes your praise even more meaningful.

We never know who we will reach with our words, do we? Thank you for giving
me this chance to know mine made their way to you.


Connie Schultz
The Plain Dealer


Here's what I wrote back to her (and I'm not even going to reread it, because I will probably cringe and curse myself for not hiring a professional editor to go over it before sending it to her. All I know with certainty is that I used the term "Pulitzer Prize Winner" like ten times too many.) I'm sure it could've been worse, although I'm not sure HOW it could have been worse.

Dear Ms. Schultz,

Wow! Is it okay that I'm a "little bit" star-struck right now?!?

Thank you very, very much for your e-mail! Receiving an e-mail from you would be remarkable on any day, but what makes it even more special today is that it arrived on my blog's first birthday. And yes, sad as it may sound, my blog is really like my baby. Horribly neglected at times with the unfailing ability to bring me to guilt and tears, but at the end of the day, always loved. (Maybe
it's time that I get a dog or something?) It even looks like me. (I'm a redhead
filled with orange freckles.)

Oddly enough, I meant to sent you a congratulatory fan e-mail after your amazing accomplishment, but then I thought to myself that you'd probably be so flooded with e-mails and so I just left it at that, and wrote that tribute to you on my blog instead. Needless to say, I never in my WILDEST dreams could have foreseen receiving an e-mail from you! I mean, on a good day I only have three readers - and at least two of them are members of my immediate family - and none of them have ever won a Pulitzer Prize!

Seriously though... since I've already gushed about your writing, I'd like to
add that I was also struck and very inspired by your personal story.

You see, I'm an immigrant from South Africa and lately I've been feeling rather
adrift and at a loss of what to do with my life. I filed for my Green Card four
years ago (still don't have it) and at times I'm very worried about my future.
Sometimes I think that, since I'm 30 years old already and still basically
stuck in immigration limbo, I'll NEVER make it in life, that it's way too late
for me to amount to anything. (Optimistic, aren't I?)

But then I found that link to your columns, and I found out that you only
started working as a reporter at 36, when you were a newly divorced single mom, and that you proceeded to work your way up from the newsroom to finally getting your own column and now, finally (gloriously!) the Pulitzer for Commentary! I can't tell you how much hope that gives me for my own life, and for that I would never be able to thank you. Giving a veteran pessimist like me hope is no mean feat, I can assure you. In fact, I'd even go as far as saying that it may be an even bigger achievement than winning the Pulitzer!

Thank you again!


P.S. Regarding the mind-blowing compliment you gave me about MY writing: THANK YOU! It means even more since English is my second language. Believe it or not, but I actually have a background in journalism. Studied it in South Africa with the hopes of one day becoming something exotic like a travel writer or a humour columnist! But seeing that I have the likes of you to compete with here in the U.S., I'd be willing to settle for the meager title of published author.

(*Slowly opening my eyes* Was it horrible? Will she put me on her list of potential stalkers? Did I gush like a teenage girl with a crush? Ah... what the hell. Don't tell me. Anyway, it's too late now. Let's have the birthday cake instead.)

Redsaid Cake.jpg


James said:

Happy Birthday to you. Happy Birthday to you. Happy Birthday dear blooo-ooog. Happy Birthday to you!!
Congratulations on the anniversary and congratulations on the e-mail. That must've been an awesome feeling. You think if I wrote a post about Sarah Michelle Gellar she'd e-mail me?? Hmmmm, I better get started. ;)

pylorns said:

cool. And happy blogversary.

Mark said:

Well, happy birthday, Red!!!!

Autumn said:

Congrats Red, my own blogaversary was special for me, and I'm so glad to have found your site. I do love your writing, and humor, and, did I mention, we're hoping to make it to DC and Baltimore this summer? No, well, email me, and maybe we can coordinate to meet up for lunch or drinks when we're in town.

Joelle said:

Happy Blog Birthday! :) This is still one of my favorite designs.

deeleea said:

Happy Bloggy Birthday Red

You really don't give yourself enough credit for your writing by the way. You totally rock and now that someone else who is good has said so (I meant Connie...) perhaps you will believe it???

You write great!!!! There! Now I've said it too...


Gretchen said:

Happy 1st Blog Birthday Red! I have enjoyed reading it for the past year and look forward to the future year. Also, congrats on the email. Receiving an email like that is most definitely not an every day type of thing.

Rich...! said:

Hey Red, much respect sister. Keep em coming...!

vit said:

well, happy birfday to you, querida.
You've made me like the colour orange again.

;) keep it up for at least another ten, if you don't mind.
mwah mwah mwah.

anan said:

May this be only the first little baby step in a series of big giant steps towards recognition for your obvious talent, Red. Wishing you much success; anan

"Ja, Må hon leva!" That's what the Swedes say on one's Happy Birthday...and it directly translates to: "Yes! May she live!" I equally like a simple "Grattis!" I suppose that's self-evident...but YAY for you! Yay for a wonderful day with fabulous surprises and MORE THAN THREE READERS!

Hurrah! Hurrah! Hurrah! Hurrah!

TimT said:

Well, happy birthday to your blog Redsaid, and congratulations, Red!

karmajenn said:

Happy Blog Birthday! I can't think of a better gift to get than an email from your hero!

miked said:

First off red, Happy Birthday! Long time reader, big time fan. In my best neanderthal sounding voice... "Good. You. Writer!"

Seriously though, there really are just three blogs I check on a regular basis and as strange as it may sound is one of them.

Now if you would excuse me

"Me. Internet. Surf!"

All the best,
Mikey D

RP said:

Happy blogiversary and thanks for the email alert!

jm said:

joyeux anniversaire, rouge!

kalisah said:

Happy Birthday - and what a grand gift you received!!

Christine said:

Eep! I'm a bit late in wishing your blog a happy birthday (weekends floating by on a sailing boat can do that), but hope you many more happy years of blogging ahead!


Red Dahling,
You Go Girl !!!

Onanymous said:

Geluk, geluk, geluk!

Claypot said:

Yay! Well done on doing a year. And what a cool email from Connie. xxx

Natalie said:

I'm late as usual (but it wouldn't be me if I wasn't late), but I wanted to wish you and your blog a Happy Birthday. Thanks for entertaining us for the past year.

P.S. I damn well better get an emailed reply for my comment. ;-)

Cherryflava said:

Geluk liewe a year old already. Congrats Red...keep the SA flag flying over there. We're proud.

Loved the the story about Connie...see blogging can be helping.

martha said:

haqppy blogversary! and what a neat email!

Helen said:

I'm late! I'm sorry! I was having al fresco loving in France (and surely THAT'S a good excuse!)

Happy Blogiversary!

Boertjie said:

Geluk met jou blog verjaarsdag. Veels geluk liewe maaitjie omdat jy verjaar ...da da da.

Jy skryf besonder goeie Ingels!

Lisa said:

Congrats on your Blogiversary, sweetie! (Yes, yes, I know I'm a bit late...but that's me, so far behind in everything!)

Keep up the wonderful writing, darling! :D

blaze said:

Congratulations on completion of a successful year of admiration, Red.

Aquila said:

My turn for a very belated birthday wish. Congrats and a big thanks for your writing, it makes for very entertaining and thought-provoking reading.... Keep writing and I'll keep on reading..

PS: ek wou iets se van nice koek - maar dit sou sleg klink. Hope it was lekker!!

Leave a comment

is a South African girl living in South Africa. That doesn't sound very original, we know, but you might find it remotely interesting when you learn that she has only recently returned to South Africa for the first time after a nine year, one month and two week (non-stop!) stint in the United States where she accidentally became an outlawed alien (also known, especially in immigration circles, as an 'illegal immigrant.' We prefer the term 'outlawed alien' ourselves). During her reversed exile from her homeland, she kept herself occupied by winning this website (but only after shamelessly bribing the judges) and thus being unleashed on the web where she slowly, leisurely became the World's Laziest Blogger; by being a nanny and by attending sci-fi conventions in search of other aliens. In the US, she also made her sailing debut, her international acting debut, tried and failed to learn the piano, and never learned to cook. She is hopelessly addicted to coffee, dogs (especially Labrador Retrievers), how-to books (with a particular fondness for her copy of the Time/Life A - Z Medical Encyclopedia), and she tends to grossly overuse parentheses (we're not kidding) during her attempts at writing, which you may - if you really have masochistic tendencies - subject yourself to by reading the words to the right of this column. If you REALLY and truly STILL want to know more, you can read her C.V. here.
Or you can stalk her send her some love via e-mail at: redsaid[AT]gmail[DOT]com

The Wish List (Because yes, she really does need more how-to books. Honestly!)


  • Aquila : My turn for a very belated birthday wish. Congrats and a big thanks for your writing, it makes for ... [go]
  • blaze : Congratulations on completion of a successful year of admiration, Red.... [go]
  • Lisa : Congrats on your Blogiversary, sweetie! (Yes, yes, I know I'm a bit late...but that's me, so far be... [go]
  • Boertjie : Geluk met jou blog verjaarsdag. Veels geluk liewe maaitjie omdat jy verjaar ...da da da. Jy skryf ... [go]
  • Helen : I'm late! I'm sorry! I was having al fresco loving in France (and surely THAT'S a good excuse!) ... [go]
  • martha : haqppy blogversary! and what a neat email!... [go]
  • Cherryflava : Geluk liewe a year old already. Congrats Red...keep the SA flag flying over there. We'... [go]
  • Natalie : I'm late as usual (but it wouldn't be me if I wasn't late), but I wanted to wish you and your blog a... [go]
  • Claypot : Yay! Well done on doing a year. And what a cool email from Connie. xxx... [go]
  • Onanymous : Geluk, geluk, geluk!... [go]
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