May 2010 Archives

It is almost fitting that the good news came on Memorial Day, because although the true meaning behind the day is incredibly sombre - to remember and honour all of America's war casualties - the Memorial Day long weekend also marks the unofficial start of summer in the US. And that has traditionally always been a happy event.

Today my sunny autumn day here in South Africa became unexpectedly brighter when I found out that one of the American dreams I have harboured since returning to South Africa - a dream I had almost completely written off because I've come to believe (and I've been told) that it was simply too improbable to ever happen - is actually about to come true after all!

Here's a hint... it involves the colour green.

No, sadly, it's not THAT green thing. My South African immigration liar (note: the fact that she is the same nationality as I am was a mere coincidence and definitely not any prerequisite I had when I was frantically searching for someone to take my case) was not suddenly overcome with contrition for taking all my money and then allegedly (note: I said allegedly) never doing anything for me. (Me, bitter? Never!) My case files, which, according to her legal secretary, had inexplicably and mysteriously 'disappeared', were not miraculously retrieved all these years later and filed, leading me to realise my ultimate American Dream of finally obtaining that much coveted and long awaited Green Card (which is oddly not even green at all).

But even though it's not THAT green thing, THIS green thing is a very worthy consolation prize. It is also something I have been coveting for years.

It is this:




Six years ago today I woke up in a tiny rowhouse in Hampden, a quirky neighbourhood in the city of Baltimore. On that day, instead of simply rolling over and falling asleep again – as was my usual habit – I actually got up, ran to the computer, logged on and squealed with disbelief and delight when I saw this.

When I entered Emily’s Win-A-Blog contest, I never in a million years thought that I even had a remote chance of winning it. For some time, I had been quietly following her blog (which is now, sadly, defunct, because the girl is leading an offline life brimming with fullness, love and success). When she announced the contest, I merely took a shot because it was a way of reaching out to her, this fellow redhead who I had come to admire so much, without seeming like a complete stalker.

I don’t think Emily is aware of this, but at the time of the contest (and for a long time before that), I had been gripped by an ongoing, soul-sapping depression. When I wrote my three entries for the contest, it was the first time I had done any writing or anything remotely productive in ages.

But something about her contest managed to reignite a bit of a spark in me. After a long stretch of barely existing in a fog of monotony and constant malaise, I desperately needed something to look forward to again. That contest became it for me. And when I miraculously won, it also gave me a reason to get out of bed again. I am honestly not exaggerating when I say that this blog has quite possibly saved my life.

Little did I know back then how blogging would not only help to slowly usher me back into the land of the living, but what a huge role it also eventually ended up playing in helping me to actually earn a living as well.

Yesterday, in an e-mail (that was only just a tiny bit less sappy and sentimental than this post) to Emily, I wrote: “By the way, can you believe that redsaid.net will be SIX years old tomorrow!? I can't believe how many career opportunities that blog has brought me. Thanks to it (and you!), I'm now making a living as a freelance writer in online media and I’m also actually being paid to blog! So yes, chicka, I'll be forever grateful to you and that Win-A-Blog contest of yours.”

Despite my horrible neglect of it, I still love this blog as much as that first day I saw it. I’m still crushing on Joelle’s gorgeous design. I am still thrilled whenever I receive a comment. (If it hasn’t abated after six years, I think it’s safe to assume that the novelty will probably never wear off.) I’m also beyond thrilled that some of you, who have been here since that first day, have stuck around and that you still bother to read and even comment on my infrequent ramblings.

I know that real writers always say that they mostly write for themselves. But I am pretty sure that I would not have bothered to keep this up (even as sporadically as I have been) without any of you. So thank you very, very much.

P.S. Oh, and Dee? My blogging career would not be complete without me breaking yet more things in the template which made other somewhat important things disappear from the blog... Oh, and all my hot links seem to have changed from purple to bright blue!? So if you have a moment to spare, I would REALLY appreciate your help again please, oh Web Goddess Who Is Now A Qualified Mistress*! I PROMISE I will never ever try and tinker with your code EVER again! No, really. This time I mean it.

*She's a chick with a hot-off-the-printer Master's Degree, geddit?



















about
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!)

online


comments
  • Redsaid Author Profile Page: Terra: YES! Wait... you didn't think that I would be this possessed to post for NO REASON, did ya???... [go]
  • Terra.Shield : OH! ... [go]
  • Marco Author Profile Page: Be a bit like serving drinks at AA?... [go]
  • Marco Author Profile Page: I personally think it is a mindset that has been cultivated over the years, and one, if not stemmed,... [go]
  • Redsaid Author Profile Page: Ms. Crazy Cat Lady Pants!!! Squeeeee! Sooo good to see you! (I thought NO ONE was bothering to read ... [go]
  • Ms. Pants : Kitties don't get enough credit sometimes. (All times, if you ask me, but I'm a Crazy Cat Lady.)... [go]
  • Redsaid Author Profile Page: Hey Tamara! I know, right?? That is a tough act to follow indeed. I adored that dentist. He used to ... [go]
  • Tamara Tipton : Well, I am not sure how any dentist could live up to that standard! LOL! I hope your appointment was... [go]
  • Redsaid Author Profile Page: I'm really really glad that I'm not the only one, Po! Sometimes I drive myself mad with all the what... [go]
  • Po : Those questions run through my heads for various times in my life too, that is for sure!... [go]
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