Please tell me your name is Sarah

Hi. I’m Sarah. Call me Sarah. Do not call me Ishmael. Because that is not my name, and it feels just a little bit too much like cultural appropriation. And I may have stolen that from Jennifer Lawson. Or possibly Moby Dick.

I am writing this, because we may be meeting for the first time at the conference named BlogHer ’14. But before we talk about that let me thank you for making it all the way here. If you like reading enough to actually look me up on my blog, I’m guessing that you also got that literary reference I just made. We’re so smart, me and you. But just a warning, my smartness does not actually include remembering your name, especially if I am tired, which is all the time.

allkindsofSarah

All kinds of Sarahs. Just kidding. They are all me!

When some people become fatigued they get cranky, but I lose the capacity to recall proper nouns. This is when I start yelling “dog, get out of the kitchen” and “children, go to bed” at the end of a long day. Oh, and I am probably cranky, too.

What is your name? (Put it in the comments. Seriously. I have no idea what your name is.)

Secretly, I am hoping your name is Sarah, because I collect those. My dream, actually, is to have friends who are only named Sarah. That way, I’ll never forget their names, and they will never feel offended, except when I offend them by saying other things like women should have the same rights as men and the same pay.

Recently, I have been actively looking for people named Sarah so I can approach them about being friends. I’m getting superstitious about this. And I have even paid to meet people named Sarah, like funding this Kickstarter for Sara Benicasa because duh. And she also said it was gay and there would be cheesecake, so obviously I should be there.
 

So anyway, it’s nice to meet you, Sarah.

Let’s be friends on all the social media:

Me on Facebook
This blog on Facebook
This blog on Twitter
Me on Twitter

I also write for BluntMoms, The HuffPost, Village Q.

See you there!

(Don’t forget to add your name to the comments.)

I’m in a show about motherhood which, like motherhood, sounds easy but is mortifying

Great and terrifying news, everyone. I’m in a show! Oh my god, I’m in a show. Excuse me just a second. I don’t feel very good.

I auditioned recently for the Listen to Your Mother Show which (and I’m quoting) “is a diverse collection of local writers who read their own words about motherhood in a show that … will be spectacular.” It’s even in a theater. And did you get that part about writers? I know! I’ll be with writers, who are some of my favorite people to be with.

LTYM

Oh, and yes, I passed the audition, which felt like a miracle. I was incredibly nervous, even though I had practiced reading my piece about 20 times before the judge heard it. But reading something personal to your iPhone Voice Memo app is way less nerve-wracking than reading your story to a complete stranger.

Here is a list of all the amazing people that will be in the show. Denver is joining more than thirty other shows in the fifth season nationwide, so we’re not alone, which I think may be the whole point of this deal.

You can buy tickets here. And it’s true, you need to buy tickets these days to see me make a fool of myself. It used to just require inviting me over and serving a few cocktails, but times have changed, for the better, I think.

I hope you can make it. And let’s be honest, I hope I can make it.

Find me on Twitter @7littlemexicans
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.

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
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.

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.

Deciding to do nothing in 2014 turns out to be something. I can’t win.

I decided this year that I wasn’t going to have any New Year’s resolutions. I’m not sure why or even when I decided this. It’s possible that in the weeks leading up to the end of the year I was busy thinking about other things. Except I forgot to think about what to get for Pam for Christmas, so what WAS I thinking?

And just to be sure that I wasn’t accidentally having any New Year’s resolutions, I checked Wikipedia to make sure that I understood what I was talking about. And as it turns out, people for thousands of years, even before Jesus, have promised themselves that they’ll do better in the New Year. They plan to repay their debts or to return borrowed objects. No one was trying to lose ten pounds, but it was ancient Greece so no one needed to. You know, they were all Greek gods, remember? Yeah, I didn’t, because I wasn’t thinking.

So it was true, I wasn’t making any promises or New Year’s resolutions to myself. At least not on January 1st. Because I know better than that. And I don’t want to change. I would like to stay exactly the same. Generally happy. But no, that wasn’t going to happen, either. Because I bought this book. And I read it, which is an accomplishment in itself. Except that it’s a book that is mostly full of pictures, so I can’t really pat myself on the back too hard for that.

hyperboleandahalf

This is one of the saddest fucking books I have ever read. And also the funniest. Together. In one book. The pictures are ridiculous, as you can tell by the cover. And the stories, except the ones about the dogs, are gut-wrenching.

The book contains two posts about depression, one of which is also about suicide. And at least three of the chapters are about how much Allie hates herself. And it’s all funny. But sad. And I’m guessing you’re getting that part, because I keep saying it over and over again. But that’s also what the truth is: Comedy and tragedy. Shakespeare figured that out a long time ago, but we don’t listen. So people need to keep writing books so we can learn this over and over again.

And ironically, although this book made me cry it also made me hopeful. First, I am hopeful that Allie will start to like herself a bit more, because she wrote an awesome book with funny pictures and a lot of truth in it. But also because I am writing a funny book about a mostly horrible experience, and I wasn’t sure that it would work. But now I think it can.

And bonus, Allie’s book also proves that you can write a book about nothing, mostly. There is a whole chapter about trying to clean the house and then playing on the internet instead. Like I said: This is truth, people. Gospel, even.

Anyway, this isn’t really even a blog post. It’s more like a book review. And it’s not really about New Year’s resolutions or the lack of New Year’s resolutions, except to say that you can have no plans to change yourself, and then be changed anyway.

Also, don’t stop buying books. That’s not the point of this post, either.

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.

Writing. It’s a contest. Because this is America.

This is Erma Bombeck. Until about a year ago, I had never heard of her, which is just more evidence that even at middle-age, I have still managed to miss some of the best things in life. But I think there is time to make up for it.

ermabombeck

Erma Bombeck (photo stolen from Wikipedia), who is probably rolling over in her grave because of blogging and picture stealing.

Erma started her career as a “copygirl” in 1942. Today we call this “unpaid social media intern.” Then she went to college and became a columnist for a newspaper. In 1953, she left her job to adopt a daughter and then later gave birth to two sons. After 10 years out of the workforce, she went back to working at a newspaper writing columns for $3 each. Today, we call this “mommy blogging” and you don’t even get $3. But you can win new friends, some of which provide you with at least a $1 of self-worth. And sometimes, a lot more.

I was first introduced to Erma, when one of my friends said that I could be the modern-day lesbian Erma Bombeck. At first I was a little horrified, because of well, her hair. But then I realized that I was being a judgy female stereotype. So I stopped hating Erma for her hair, and that’s when I found out that she was active in the passage of the Equal Rights Amendment, which made me like her more. And she is funny (more like). And she adopted a child (super like), so aside from the fact that she was married to a man, she would have made a great lesbian Erma Bombeck.

And now I’m going to try to become her. Not in a creepy steal her identity, The-Talented-Mr.-Ripley sort of way, but I’m going to try to write something just like her.

In January, there is a writing contest where I plan to win $500 and free registration to Erma Bombeck Writing Workshop. All I need to do is write an essay just like Erma to win un-sponsored passage to Ohio, which for just a minute I had confused with Iowa, a state that passed a gay marriage law four years ago.

Why does this matter? Because I thought I might be able to get gay married and go to a writing workshop all at the same time, which would be a dream coming true that I never knew was a dream prior to now. And that’s the best kind of dream. Except that there is no gay marriage law in Ohio, and I need to beat more than 500 other writers to win free registration to the workshop.

Wish me luck. And join me for some friendly competition, but just know that I already hate your hair.

Oh, and Happy Thanksgiving!

Erma Bombeck Writing Competition  

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.

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