A really good offer that will be hard to refuse.

You probably already know this, but to win on the internet, you must be popular. This is why we have news stories about people falling into fountains and tweeting themselves out of jobs, because those people are our heroes. Idiot heroes.

Well, now it’s my turn to be an idiot, both by submitting some of my blog posts for a contest, as well as by asking you, my faithful readers, to vote for me. I guarantee that this exercise will be a pain in the ass. Because it will involve registering if you’re not already a member of the BlogHer community, AND if you register you may receive spam.

To make this an offer that you cannot refuse, I will personally bring home a free gift for you from the BlogHer conference in July. It will be a pen with the hotel’s name on it or something made out of foam that is pink, because this is a conference that targets women, and we are always attracted to pink objects more than any other color of objects.

So here is what I am asking you to vote for: To make me one of the Voices Of The Year.  I have listed the category, a link to the story just in case you actually read stuff before you vote for it (I don’t. That’s Pam’s job.), and the most important part: the voting button!

Category: Humor
I am the North Pole and Other Scientific Facts
VOTE, VOTE, VOTE!

Category: Heart
One Idea about What to Do If You Have No Dad in Your Family
VOTE, VOTE, VOTE!

Category: Humor
Does the Cat in the Hat Belong on the Sex Offender Registry
VOTE, VOTE, VOTE!

Thanks. You should take the day off now. That was a lot of work. I’ll write you a note, if you need one.

Find me on Twitter @7littlemexicans and #7LM
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Or become a fan on HuffingtonPost Parents

© Sarah Ann Gilbert and Seven Little Mexicans, 2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Sarah Ann Gilbert and Seven Little Mexicans with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Where have I been? And other questions that you didn’t actually have.

(Thankfully) Pam noticed the other night that I hadn’t posted any blogs in a while. Technically, she is incorrect. What she meant to say is that I have published any posts on my blog, recently, which is true. I haven’t. And I have reasons. Because I like to think that I have reasons for everything. It’s part of my irrational rationalism.

Anyway. In 2013, when this whole, ridiculous, writing diversion started, I was creating two posts a week usually on Monday and on Wednesday, for better or for worse, in sickness and in health. I was committed. And I think I had about 19 fans, one of which was Pam, which is good because she is the person I’m always trying to impress. And then I might have gotten a few more fans or not.

It’s actually way harder to measure how many fans you have on the internet than you might think, because there are a lot of haters out there. And I’m not sure if those people actually count as fans. Also anyone who publishes exact stats about the number of fans on their blog is probably lying. And that sentence right there, probably makes me a hater. And my previous paragraph about my 19 fan probably makes me a liar. So this self-promoting thing is going great so far, don’t you think?

But, let’s forget about the math for right now and talk about 2014 instead. It was the new year, and I got some fresh ideas. And one of those ideas is to write posts that are little higher quality (meaning fewer typos) and a little less quantity. So I’m giving that a shot. And I also got viral pink eye, which makes it quite hard to see. That was NOT one of the fresh ideas for 2014, but shit happens. And it contributed to the lack of posts, because I don’t know braille and I don’t think WordPress hasn’t offered that as a plugin, yet.

And while we’re at it, can we please rename “pink eye?” That name sounds like something that a princess gets after being bitten by a unicorn. How about something like “prickly blindness with puss?” I know it’s a little long, but I think it really captures the essence of the experience.

So back to my original point, which is explaining why I haven’t been posting as much. Quality vs. quantity, people. It’s a epic, ancient battle fought since the dawn of time, since the birth of man. Or just another way of saying that I’m spending more time refining stuff that I’ve written (except this post). And I’ve been guest posting in other places. And frankly, those places demand a little quality. And now to try really hard to get to the point because this post is getting way too long and wander-y, here is a list of some other places I’ve been working:

HuffPost: You can find me here.

Scary Mommy: I have one article and one info-graphic both being published in February. I’ll point them out to you in a poorly organized post, just like this one, when they are up.

Erma Bombeck Writing competition: This is kind of old news, but the new news is that I actually submitted something. And it cost me $15, so I’m treating this like Powerball with the same odds of winning. Except that if I do win, the prize will be a weekend writing workshop, which is perfect. Because the reward for being a good writer is always the opportunity to work harder at being a better writer. I should probably join Masochists Anonymous, instead.

So thanks for reading all this. And you can always follow or become my fan in these places:

Find me on Twitter @7littlemexicans and #7LM
Follow this and more on Facebook: www.facebook.com/sevenlittlemexicans 
Or become a fan on HuffingtonPost Parents

 © Sarah Ann Gilbert and Seven Little Mexicans, 2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Sarah Ann Gilbert and Seven Little Mexicans with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

I am a syndicated news journalist or a social media whore: One of the two.

You guys. Awesome news. I’m a HuffPost Parents blogger! I was trying to think of a clever way to tell you such as staging a flashmob, but it was too cold outside and I don’t have THAT many friends. I also considered a singing telegraph from a velociraptor. But velociraptors are extinct. So I’ll just say this: “I’m a HuffPost Parents blogger!!”

What does that mean?

Oh. Let me tell you.

What is HuffPost?

It’s an online newspaper and content aggregator started in 2005 by Arianna Huffington. And they pick up blog content like mine if you ask nicely. Or as they like to say they publish “fresh takes and real-time analysis from HuffPost’s signature lineup of contributors.”

How did you get this gig?

I asked, nicely. At least I think it was nice. It was a bit salesy, but sometimes you have to pull out all the stops and just pitch yourself (at a discount and with a free set of knives). And they said “yes” which was really great. And it was on the Thanksgiving weekend, so that made me feel extra grateful that weekend.

Are you going to stop posting on your blog?

No. I am not. Because where would I do all my swearing if it wasn’t here? And where would I make fun of things that run in the HuffPost? I’m going to keep writing here, and some of the best stuff will make it’s way there.

How do I see it?

Here is my first post!

Here is my bio!

And here is what it looks like, if you’re just browsing around on the site. I kind of wish I was that adorable kid with the glasses, but I’m the one on the left.

huffpost home page

Please go there. And comment. Or like the post. Become a fan. Because this is a popularity contest. And I cannot win fortune without fame. And you will be rewarded with more of this writing crap. Plus selfies. And pictures of my kids.

And while you’re busy doing that I’ll be working on my fresh takes.

Find me on Twitter @7littlemexicans and #7LM
Follow this and more on Facebook: www.facebook.com/sevenlittlemexicans 
Or become a fan on HuffingtonPost Parents

© Sarah Ann Gilbert and Seven Little Mexicans, 2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Sarah Ann Gilbert and Seven Little Mexicans with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Tell me. Are you interested in this topic?

I am having a really hard time deciding what to blog about today. I’ve had such a hard time that I started yesterday, and I still don’t have anything today. So I need your help. In two ways. First, by realizing that this is not really a blog post. It’s more of a cry for help. And second, by telling me what you think of this idea.

BlogHer ’14 is looking for speakers on topics. And I’m giving it a shot, because 6 months ago I tried to get my blog listed in their directory and it was ignored or rejected or something. Which means that they are obviously looking for me to be a speaker for their conference instead of a blogger.

So what I need is an answer for this question: “Please tell us more about why you believe this speaker and/or topic would be a great fit for BlogHer ’14. (Word count 300 max.)” And since we already decided the first  good reason to be a speaker is that I WILL NOT BE IGNORED, here is the second more thoughtful reason:

I want to be a speaker because there used to be something wrong with me. And now there isn’t. Seven years ago, I wanted to have a baby. And I was a 36-year-old lesbian in committed relationship with another woman. So from my perspective, there was only one thing that was wrong. We didn’t have any sperm. But for others, there was a lot that was wrong. First, I was diagnosed as infertile, so I could receive medical treatment so I could get pregnant. And for 18 months, I was examined, probed tested and analyzed, all culminating one day in a therapy session where my partner and I were told that we would not make good parents. In other words, we were all wrong for this. And it was at that moment, I had to decide, was I going to continue to live my life like there was something wrong with me? That I was and always had been was so fundamentally flawed in some way that I needed to spend my life proving to people that I was worthy; worthy of being a parent; worthy of being a spouse; worthy of spot in world?  It would be easy to assume that I felt unworthy because I am gay. But I really didn’t discover that I was gay until I was in my 20s. Before that I was a foreigner growing up in a place steeped in religious fundamentalism. So as a child of immigrant atheists, I learned early that there was something wrong with me, possibly evil, even. Becoming a parent was a critical step for me in my journey out of wrongness and into a place that I’ve made for myself. A place where I can be myself: right or wrong. And usually both.

Oh and it would have some funny parts, too. Because thinking that you are flawed, in retrospect, can be sort of hilarious.

What do you think? Would you go to this talk?

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© Sarah Ann Gilbert and Seven Little Mexicans, 2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Sarah Ann Gilbert and Seven Little Mexicans with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

This is the scratch pad. And frankly, using it kind of hurts, but I can’t help it.

Everyone needs a place to doodle. At least that’s my current working hypothesis. Or possibly, I just need way more warming up and practice before I ACTUALLY do something like write a book.

And since we’re on the topic, here is a totally mind-blowing doodle. This was created by Anthony Weeks DURING a talk that was given by Vikki Reich and Deborah Goldstein at the SalonLGBTQ conference – an event that I can’t stop talking about. Let me say that again just in case you missed it the first time: This was drawn WHILE they talked.

Anthony Weeks

I took exactly two notes and a crappy photograph of this incredible poster, by comparison. But if you can see near the top of the poster, Vikki and Deb were talking about why they blog. This is a great question. This is a question that I ask myself, often. Because it’s sometimes very painful, like biting my nails, which I also do. And it sometimes causes my hands to bleed.

And the more I blog, the more I realize that I’m probably the person getting the absolute most out of this. I know that for a fact, actually, because the stats tell me that I’m my biggest fan. Confession: I sometimes read my own posts 4 or 5 times. Why? Because I can’t remember what happened. And I re-read them to re-experience my life, because I find some posts quite funny and some quite sad. And after I forget about them, they’re funny and sad all over again. It’s kind of like 50 First Dates with myself. And I also do it for all of the same reasons that Deb and Vikki listed.

And really, I do it because I can’t help it. It makes me feel better. Like Deb said: “I need to do this.”  I’ve spent parts of my life “being a writer.” And parts of my life “not being a writer.” And I think that some of the point of this whole pointless life is to write stuff down and try to make sense of it. Or possibly to make nonsense out it, which I also do. And to laugh at it. And cry at it. But it’s also a special sort of hell. A bleeding one. Because good writing for me is like biting my nails. It involves my hands. It’s painful. And it’s only really good when you’re bleeding.

A special thank you to these ladies, who made it happen. Here is the dream team, the organizers, the get-er-done group that organized and executed on the conference. Thank you to Deb Rox (@debontherox), Polly Pagenhart (@lesbiandad), Susan Goldberg (@mamanongrata), Deborah Goldstein (@psandcs), and Vikki Reich (@uppoppedafox).

salon lgbtq

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 © Sarah Ann Gilbert and Seven Little Mexicans, 2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Sarah Ann Gilbert and Seven Little Mexicans with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Sometimes awesome stuff happens on Twitter. And then it gets more awesome in real life.

If you have been following along since last week, you know that last Friday and Saturday I was at the first gay social media conference ever: SalonLGBTQ.  And as promised, it was pretty gay. Or maybe just gay enough. And lots of stuff happened. Way too much to tell you about. So instead of telling you everything, I’m going to tell you about two things. The first one is about a mistake that turned into a gift. And the second thing is also about gifts, but we’ll get to that in Wednesday’s post.

So, about a month ago, this happened on Twitter.

tweet typos

And at first I thought it was just funny. I love typos, actually, for this reason. And then I started thinking, that we (me and The Other Sarah) could make a diorama of the Golden Girls using pickles. Why not? And so we did. Because I love to give gifts to people. And Deb definitely deserved one after this weekend.

And it turned out like this:

Golden Girls

And I gave it to Deb Rox, who unbeknownst to me at the time was a or possibly THE mastermind behind the conference. So when I got there, I felt like a pleeb making an offering to a wise master. But it was all good, because she is terribly nice.

And why should you give a shit about any of this? Because it is art, people! This is how art happens. People make great things in the world, like the Golden Girls, then people make wine-induced spelling mistakes when talking about them, and then other people turn their mistakes into dioramas that they take to gay conferences. The fancy word for this is innovation.

But seriously. Have you made a mistake, lately? It might just turn into something awesome. It all depends on how you look at it.

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© Sarah Ann Gilbert and Seven Little Mexicans, 2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Sarah Ann Gilbert and Seven Little Mexicans with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

An open letter to my new friends at Salon LGBTQ

First, I am thrilled to have a reason to write an open letter. All the cool kids are doing it. Please feel free to flame me, because I’m sure that we could both use the publicity.

Second, I have free gifts. The first, obvious one, is the opportunity to meet me in person, even though I’m nobody, and I’ll just be tweeting lame stuff from the audience. But I plan to redeem myself with free t-shirts, buttons, business cards and a special gift for Deb Rox. I don’t even know her, but that is what the internet is for — to be creepy with people that you’ve never met.

And for those of you who are staying home (what?!), a little explanation: I’m going to the first ever social media conference for gay people on Friday and Saturday. I think they are letting some straight people in, but not too many, because it’s really cool now to be gay and we want to keep it to ourselves. It’s exclusive. And by that I mean sophisticated. Which is why I’ll be wearing this new shirt on the red carpet.

black shirt

I’ll look like this, only I won’t be standing in my bathroom (ideally).

And as I’ve said before, I think this is the second gayest thing I have ever done. The first is getting into a long-term, committed relationship with a woman and having two kids. But that’s old news.

What am I doing going to a social media conference? Well, I’m here so you can meet me. Or so I can meet you and tell people about it to improve my social cache. And I write this blog. And I’m on Twitter. And I’m writing a book about having babies (gaybies!), because it seems like we’re all still confused about that. I am. And also because for a very long time, I didn’t think I needed to say anything about homophobia. But it turns out that I do. So I am. But I don’t have room for everything I have to say about it right here in this post. So I plan to take up one whole book talking about it. I hope you’ll read it some day. But until then, I’ll be on this blog trying to redefine the word “family” for the American people. That’s all.

I hope you’ll stay in touch. Because this is an open letter after all. We can be pen pals, but on social media, because that’s what all the cool kids are doing. Now excuse me while I go and ride my giant ball attached to a chain and lick a hammer. Or tear up a picture of the Pope. Or possibly all three.

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Salon LGBTQ

 

© Sarah Ann Gilbert and Seven Little Mexicans, 2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Sarah Ann Gilbert and Seven Little Mexicans with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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