Recently in Win a Blog Category

On this day (or rather, THAT day, since I should've posted this YESTERDAY) in 2004...

Oh, don't worry, kids. Before your eyes automatically glaze over, rest assured: this isn't going to be a history lesson. I don't have the memory to recall anything historic, be it fact or fiction. Gee, I can't even remember what I did last night! And no, sadly, not because I did or somehow imbibed anything remotely fun or funny or illegal. 

Where was I? (See? Can't even remember what I wrote two seconds ago.) Oh, yes. May 28, 2004. The reason that particular date has managed to latch onto that one teeny tiny corner of my memory that is still relatively free of gaping holes, is because this momentous event happened.

Happy seventh(!) birthday, blog! This milestone is significant, because it is officially the longest "relationship" I've ever had with anyone or anything other than family, some friends and dogs.

Seven years is a loooong time in blog years. (I think it is the same amount as it would be in dog years.) No wonder I feel so prematurely aged! This means I'm now a 'veteran' blogger.

My three imaginary readers wanted to know what the secret is to becoming a lasting blogger. I told them the truth: I have no idea.

They didn't seem pleased with my brutal honesty and ignorance, so I've come up with the following "Steps On How To Kinda Maintain A Blog For Seven Years".

- Pace yourself. Don't blog every day. Or every other day. Or even every other week. Try and put a post up every other month, if you're able. But don't force yourself! No need to overdo it and risk creative burn-out (a condition rumoured to be very real and very dangerous)! When you do feel the urge to blog (symptoms include but aren't limited to itchy fingers, sweaty palms, etc.) like a day or week after you've written a post, immediately turn off your computer and go have a cup of coffee. If you can't resist, then fine, write a blog post, but instead of pressing publish when you are done, save it in draft and never ever post it. In my case, this has not been difficult, because I have a natural talent for not posting and not writing. Also, there is no need for me to frequently foul up this gorgeous blog design with my clumsy sentences and sentences within sentences.

- Don't let your domain name/hosting expire. You can forget about your blog for most of the year, as long as you remember it again when it becomes time to renew your domain name and to pay your hosting fees. One of my imaginary readers was greatly distressed when it (imaginary readers are genderless) visited this blog on Friday only to be met with a "this site has been suspended due to neglectful owner who did not renew domain name" type of message. My Fairy Blog Mother, the one who originally hosted this Win-A-Blog contest which landed me this here site, swooped to the rescue. Lovely Emily not only paid the renewal fee for TWO YEARS, but she wants no payment in return. Nada. Zilch. How incredibly kind is she?!? I love her, even though I ought to smoulder with jealousy, because unlike me, she is a GORGEOUS, smoking hot redhead. Super brainy too. Life is very very unfair. (No link to her, because sadly she hasn't had a blog in years. That's because she is too busy having A Life.)

- Of course, the previous step about domain renewal and hosting becomes void if you have a freebie blog at blogger, or Wordpress, or My Digital Life ( where all those things are included in the "free".

And that's it. Easy, really. In order to call yourself a blogger for a really really long time, like me; a blogger whose blog is so neglected that it isn't even part of the actual World Wide Web, but of the World Wide Cobweb (that dark and dusty and cob-webby corner of the Internet where all obscure sites cluster together and languish in infinite, virtual obscurity), whose blog has no actual readers and only three imaginary readers, whose blog has never bagged her a lucrative book-and-movie-deal combo? Then you should simply not blog all that often.

Image: Oh, and this is my sister's birthday cake from last year. She actually baked it herself. She DID bake my blog a cake for its sixth birthday a few months later. It did not look like this at all, but it was just as tasty. I was going to take a picture of it for the blog, but then I promptly suppressed the urge, and just ate it instead.


Happy birthday, blog!

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 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?

It's Raining...

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... Presents! Lots and lots of PRESENTS! And sometimes, a shower of gifts is better than a rain storm of men (Not that I would know what that's like though, "sigh") ... Sorry guys, no offense!

Yes, the plain old regular rain and thunderstorm was in full-swing when the mailman showed up at my door weighed down by a huge box in his arms.

A huge box with a post mark and return address on it that said:

Houston, Texas!!!

It was, believe it or not, the rest of my Win a Blog prizes (Yes, really, as if winning this site and your readership and the yummy design and the hosting and the scripting and the gift certificates aren't more than enough prizes already!!!), courtesy of these two lovely lasses. Needless to say, it instantly brightened up the rainy day for me!

Yay! Finally everyone who placed in Emily's contest now has a blog of her own, including third-place winner Kalisah who can now be found here thanks to the gentle nudgings of Mice.

Go say "Bienvenue!" (Oui, it has to be En Français because she is off to Monaco soon and she should practice, non?)

And gawking at the gorgeousness of this blog.

I want to eat it, it’s so yummy and orangey and bubbly what with the retro dots and all.

Joelle, THANK YOU again! And Emily! And Christine – who got hitched today, hooray! And Bob! And Eve! And Joz! And Lomara! And the people who keep on reading and commenting! (I have genuine READERS?!?)

You guys have all been so kind and wonderful and supportive of me. I'm already starting to get all misty eyed at the prospect of having a measly 364 days left. At the same time I'm not even used to the idea of this yet! Don’t worry: it will probably hit me on Day 365. I’ve always been a bit slow on the uptake like that.

The boy sure is happy, because apart from me letting out the occasional delayed shriek of joy and disbelief (“Sweetie, sweetie! Come loooooooooooook! I have another comment!” Followed by hysterical but joyous laughter), all is much quieter than usual here at the abode.

Oh, except, the boy has started to address me as: “Your Royal Blogness.” Personally I think it should be “Your Royal Bloggerness,” but I’m still too happy to dispute him just yet, so I’ll let it slide for now.

I certainly FEEL like Bloggerati royalty, with the way I'm being spoiled rotten like this...

Because it's almost 7pm (EDT) and I have not eaten a SINGLE morsel yet!!!! Well, unless you count those few unfortunate bites of coffee grinds of earlier today, when I was even more delirious than I am now. (And now I'm HUNGRY too, complete with the shakes 'n stuff.)

Trust me, this no eating for a day executed by ME? It's remarkable, which is why I'm so completely and utterly happy about it. Also because I'm an African Ephelant... yes, one with Dyslexia.

(Yes, I know, I know... starving yerself is completely taboo and un-PC, and I would never endorse it.*)

So, I've come to the conclusion that winning this blog is finally going to make me thin!!!!! And here I naively thought that it couldn't possibly get any better than this! Whooo!

* Now that I have REAL READERS I have to be careful about what I endorse/comdemn. I don't want to get too cocky and be replaced by the runners-up, like in beauty pageants and stuff, 'cause I really dig the design and the other prizes and all of the attention.


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Okay, I know this is a bit of a delayed reaction, but I've been so busy fawning over the stunning design of this blog and secretly terrified that my drivel will never live up to this honour!

And well, I've never been good at this whole multi-tasking business. Most recent case in point: saw that I had won(!!!!!!!!!!!!!! - part of ongoing delayed reaction, sorry) and then, after removing my jaw from the floor, decided to make coffee.

No big deal, right?

Wrong, because when I made coffee, in my frenzied shock and excitement I FORGOT TO ADD THE WATER!!!!

Bodes well for the rest of my day, 'eh?


Congratulations, Redsaid! You are the winner of the Win a Blog contest! This is what you get:

  1. One year domain registration of from me.
  2. One year hosting from Christine of Blogomania.
  3. A MediumMoxie design package by Joelle from BlogMoxie. Plus she added in a couple of extra scripts just for kicks.
  4. Additional custom script programming from Bob.
  5. A large Spiderman gift pack and lots of other movie related goodies from Eve.
  6. $15 gift certificate from Joz.
  7. A $25 gift certificate from Lomara.

Eight Reasons...

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...and a Few Footnotes on Why I should win the blog.

1. I am a gainfully* unemployed 29-year old in need of something to do. Well, okay, something that I can actually put on my résumé, then! Imagine how good this will look (I can see it now… read on and you will too!):

My Résumé:

February 1993 – December 1995: Journalism student with no intentions of ever really becoming a frazzled, overworked and underpaid reporter. But journalism as a major seemed awfully Hemingwayesque at the time of my enrollment. I figured having the diploma would automatically make me a writer. (I was wrong.)

February – December 1995: Despite my good intentions, I found myself in an internship. As a frazzled, overworked and underpaid reporter.

January 1996 – November 1996: Still frazzled, overworked and underpaid. As a reporter.

November1996 – Current: Fled my native country on the Dark Continent for the dazzling lights of these United States, with the proof of my esteemed authorship (above-mentioned diploma and some dog-eared newspaper clippings with my name on it) in a suitcase otherwise filled with dreams and ill-fitting clothing that I thought would be at least fit for Civilization. (I was wrong.)

The next few years would be spent corrupting the youth of America (a la Mary Poppins on caffeine); as the Worst Waitress Ever; as a freelance, but still frazzled, reporter; inadvertently overstaying my visa and thus becoming an accidental and outlawed (“illegal” is SUCH a harsh word, no?) immigrant. Not to worry though! By reading this or awarding me the blog (please?) you are NOT aiding, abetting or even merely harboring an alien! Because I’ve since redeemed myself by filing for a change of status (under Section 245(i)’s LIFE legislation… yet I still have no LIFE) and therefore, I’m not quite as outlawed as I was before. Now I’m merely stuck in immigration limbo for an undetermined amount of time.

Now imagine adding THIS, dear reader:

May 2004 - ?: Still unwaged (so much better than “unemployed,” no?), but self esteem and writing showed dramatic increase and promise when I won a blog, courtesy of lovely, charming, handsome/beautiful and clever judges** and the gorgeous Emily*** and a host of other super generous sponsors.****

See, thanks to that last paragraph, my résumé now absolutely sparkles, don’t you think?

2. I have to win this blog, because I have no skills.

3. Did I mention that I’m really, really, REALLY far from home?*****
4. But I do LOVE the United States!

5. I promise that, should I win, I’ll never use the asterisk again!******

6. I have an accent! And you Americans do dig accents… don’t you? Okay then, if not, I can also “todally draaaaaaawl, y’aaaawll.”

7. You Americans not only accepted the likes of me inside your borders, but you have also been kind enough to drop the “u” from written words like colour, odour, harbour, etc. This means that my typing speed in the States has increased by a staggering ten words per minute! Wouldn’t it be a shame to waste such a newfound talent on something other than a freshly won blog?

8. I have really big boobs! (Except if you’re a Girl Judge: then I’m despicably ugly with no boobs!)

It is a nearly impossible task to have to pick merely one embarrassing moment when one has such an infinite array to cringe… I mean… choose from.

I’m usually not very good at sticking with things, like exercise, a career, or any other potentially self-improving habits. But there is one thing which I’ve managed to do almost daily, without fail, in my nearly three decades here on Mother Earth: I’ve embarrassed myself. In major, wince-inducing ways.

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!)


  • 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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