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Celebrate, Good Times—Come On!

27 Apr

Do you know what I’ve discovered?  People like me—they really like me, and I’m gonna do what Cool and the Gang have exhorted me to do:  “Celebrate, Good Times!”  As of this moment (more by the time this blog is posted), my blog has received 100,321 hits.  593 hits happened on my best day for the review of Skyfall in November (note to self:  do more movie reviews), and I’ve been spammed 8,625 times.  I am spam worthy, y’all!

100000 hits thank you

Google 100,000 Meme

This 100,000 hits and counting is all so ironic because I never wanted to write a blog, had never read a blog before writing one of my own, and didn’t think I had anything to say that anyone wanted to hear.  I got into this gig as so many others do because I wrote a book and arrogantly thought I’d get a literary agent on try #5 (actually I did get a nibble but she rejected me in the end) and a publisher at try #20.   (I did get a nibble from a small imprint publisher who wanted to feature my book as part of their African–American section, but after months of holding my manuscript, he decided they were going in a different direction.)   When I got my 236th rejection, various literary agents confirmed that it was generally due to the fact that I was a “nobody” with no followers (code for:  “Nobody wants to read a ‘nobody memoir’—become notorious and we’ll talk.”)  One of my published author friends counseled me to start a blog to get my style of writing and name out there, and when I balked and asked him what I should write about, he said: “Anything and everything—it doesn’t matter, just write.”

For weeks I pondered what a chubby-ass, post-menopausal black woman would post on a blog and in what format?  I had recently gone rogue and had taken back my belief in God after thirty years from it being hijacked in the clutches of right-wing conservatism, and I had a lot to say about being duped in life.   And then I got a revelation:  make ‘em laugh, sista’—make ‘em laugh at you and them.  I’ve always been a storyteller so I started writing stories about the absurdities in life because I’m old, and just about everything I’ve seen and done in the past can be laid waste by the magic wand of absurdity.  I can be absurd, you can be absurd, our neighbors can be absurd, sex can be absurd, politics is definitely absurd, religions at their worst are absurd, and the world at large is absurd because we all take ourselves much too seriously and do great damage in the wake of that absurdity.  I figured if I could make people laugh at themselves, maybe they (we) would take a look at the truth of the matter and change any of their (our) ways that were hurting themselves or our world.

Blog status

At first the stories were low-hanging fruit and easy to come by because I am a pratfalling, Lucille Ball-type of character who tries to pretend that I’ve got my shit together in real life.  But once those stories were all used up, I started looking to my family who immediately rushed forward to tell me what I could not write about:

ME:                        “Hey, Babe, can I write about our sex life?”

HUSBAND:          “No!”

ME:                        “Why not?  Sex is funny at any age and when you’re old, it’s hilarious.  What about that time we were doing the ‘wild thing’ and I fell asleep?”

HUSBAND:          (Total silence, which is how my husband responds to me when he has had enough of my shenanigans and doesn’t see the funny in what I see as funny.)

Then I started using stories about my kids when they were little or my grandson as he makes his way through life, but I’ve noticed over the last few family get-togethers that qualifiers are being placed on stories that my urchins share with me about their lives or the lives of their friends:  “This is not blog fodder, Mother!”

Politics made for great blog ingredients for a while, but I was glad when the presidential campaign season ended.  Tea Baggers, so-called Patriots, and folks who claim to be Born-again Christians dedicated to saving our country from Socialists and white-people-hating bloggers like me (one troll’s frothing response to my Black History piece) have absolutely no sense of humor.   These folks can be quite rabid when you poke fun at them or their media darlings, and they come after you with guns a blazing—morphing into “trolls” that definitely made me realize that getting everyone’s approval is not what makes a successful blogger.

Blog approval Mimi and Eunice

Mimi and Eunice |www.mimiandeunice.com

Pretty soon I couldn’t encounter a person or a situation without wondering whether they or it was a potential blog story.   I never exist in the moment anymore (not that I ever did) because I’m either thinking about writing a blog, actually writing the blog, or I’m editing a blog.  Like the time I went to a gorgeous spa for a quick get-away with my husband to have a romantic weekend and be rested enough so I didn’t repeat the faux pas of falling asleep (oops!), and while getting a quick mani-pedi, the nail technician began to regale me with her stories:

NAIL LADY:         “So you’re a blogger, huh?  What types of things do you blog about?”

ME:                        “Oh, anything and everything—whatever makes me laugh and has an underlying life-lesson.”

NAIL LADY:         “People tell me that I should write a book or something because you won’t believe some of the stories I hear sitting in this chair.  People tell me everything.”

ME:                        “I bet you have some juicy stories to tell.  But I warn you, anything you tell me could and probably will be used in an upcoming blog.”  (At this point, I woke up from my laid-back state of mind and turned on my inner tape recorder as I mentally took notes for what I could “smell” would be delicious comedic blog fodder for weeks to come.)

NAIL LADY:         “No problem.  Just don’t mention my name or the resort’s name and you can use anything you want.  Anyway, the funniest thing I ever had happen sitting in this chair was when a really young woman with tons of money came into the salon to get a mani-pedi.   You know the type:  blond, fake triple D tits, spray tan, and an engagement ring the size of Mt. Rushmore.   Miss “Got Rocks” immediately started telling me that she had recently married a man much, much older than herself, and they had come to the resort for a romantic weekend because, due to his age, they had been having trouble getting it on—or should I say, getting it up.  I had just finished her manicure and put her feet in the pedicure bath to soak when her cell phone rang.   At first she ignored it, mouthing (‘it’s my old man’), but he kept ringing her over and over until she picked up the phone.   She immediately became agitated and started screaming at him:  I can’t come back to the room now—I’m just starting my pedicure.  What?  You took the pill already?  But you knew I had this mani-pedi appointment, and I’d be here for a while.  Why did you take the pill so early?  Well, doesn’t the damn thing last for four hours?  What do you mean, that’s if something goes wrong?  Oh, fuck!  All right, I’ll come back to the room now—oh, for God’s sake!’   I try to tune out to my customer’s phone calls, but there’s not much you can do when you’re squatting near the floor scrubbing somebody’s feet.  Finally with a huge sigh of frustration, she told me that her ‘old man’ had taken his Cialis pill thirty minutes ago, and it looked as if his fun stick was beginning to droop at half-mast and he was in a panic.  He needed her to get back to the room ASAP before he was left aimlessly swinging in the breeze like a mourning flag at half-mast.”

ME:                        “Well, what did you do?”

NAIL TECH:         “The only thing I could do.  I suggested we reschedule her pedicure because if I polished her toes they would surely be destroyed in the morning’s ‘aerobic exercise’ with her husband.  She never returned.”

ME:                        “So I guess falling asleep while doing the wild thing isn’t the worst thing that can happen to a couple, right?”

NAIL LADY:         “Huh, what?”

ME:                        “Ah, never mind!”

Cialas Cartoo funnytimes dot com

http://www.funnytimes.com

When I first started my blog, I could hardly wait to get comments.  The first comments were from friends and family, but comments from other bloggers took a while until I established myself by consistently posting stories and leaving comments on their blogs.   It was as though credible bloggers were waiting to see if I was worth their time.   I learned to be patient, write quality pieces that would attract readers (make ‘em laugh, baby), and make as few mistakes as possible.  (Apparently, spelling and grammatical errors can get you run out of blogosphere town on a rail.)

Soon people (usually ones that I wished had passed me by) started finding my blog through search lines in Google that were beyond bizarre.  Some of them (they show up in the daily data script of the blog) I could read and laugh about, but some of them were just sick.  (I’ve often wondered what I could have written that would link my blog to the sicko searches that show up in my stats until another blogger who just posts gorgeous pictures of flowers once wrote a blog on the perverse search lines that bring people to her artistic site.)  Here are some of the searches that led people to my blog over the last year:

Tea Party fishing hats

Fat-ass chicks in flesh colored tights

WHEN DID THAT BITCH ELEANOR TOMCZYK LEAVE MY CHURCH?!

Little Ni**er Babies

Axolotls

Ms piggy

Brother’s keeper tattoos designs

Rihanna hands

Who the fuck is Eleanor Tomczyk?

Amy farrah fowler

How the hell did steven

Fat girl on a zipline

Katie Holmes journey

(PLUS, UNMENTIONABLE GOOGLE SEARCHES THAT ARE NOT WORTHY OF REPRINTING—JUST KNOW THAT THEY WERE HORRIBLE AND DESPICABLE—I NEEDED SOAP TO WASH OUT MY BRAIN!)

blog misspelling shoeboxblog dot com

***

I am discovering that blogging has strengthened my relationship with my family (my kids discovered I was cool and smart because their friends read my blog and like it), and it’s given me something I never expected:  community.   As my writing has more clearly defined who I really am—as I have become freer to be me—it has not been without consequences here and there in relationships that I thought would go the distance.   My blog became a winnowing rod.  People who thought they knew me, didn’t, and people who should have known me and journeyed with me in my growth, refused, even though I had walked similar journeys with them.  But as some people from my past peeled away (“c’est la vie”), almost seamlessly, a community of amazing people wandered in from various walks of life (thanks Sondra, Maxine, Greg, Joanne, WW (my editor and husband), CDT and KLT and their multitudinous co-workers and friends, Kirsten, Deb, Peter, Sarah, Patty, Jean, Pam, Kathy, Lakeisha, Jeffrey, Susannah and a host of fans that I left behind at work) and the blogosphere.  They all liked the “me” they saw, and stayed to lend encouragement and support.

I am also discovering that the bloggers who encouraged me are people I’d love to gather together for wine and cheese on my deck on any given Sunday afternoon and celebrate their generosity to me.  I would keep my mouth shut and just listen to them talk amongst themselves as they spoke about what they most eloquently blog about—living, loving, beauty, and grace.  I love their writings, photos, and music, and they have given me constant encouragement to keep on keepin’ on with my journey as a writer.  I owe the following bloggers a great debt of gratitude for following, reading, linking to me, and in many cases listing me as one of their favorite blogs.  The fact that they return week after week and leave such delicious comments is sweetness personified.  Here’s a shout-out to some of the best bloggers in the sphere:  TDashfield at http://imagesbytdashfield.wordpress.com/ , Elyse at http://fiftyfourandahalf.com/,  Frank at http://afrankangle.wordpress.com/, Lynn Purse at http://composerinthegarden.com/ , Dawn G at http://talesfromthemotherland.me/ , Momsheib at http://momshieb.wordpress.com/ , Val at http://valentinelogar.com/ , Nonnie 9999 at http://mikk2.wordpress.com/ , Hudson Howl at www.beyondplumcreek.com, Karyn at http://anobservantmind.com/ , Miss Vixiev at http://eurobrat.wordpress.com/ , Tina at http://daysift.com/, Ronnie at http://morristownmemos.wordpress.com/ , Heather D at http://becomingcliche.wordpress.com/ , Nancy at http://notquiteold.wordpress.com/, George at http://georgefloreswrite.com/ , and Lindy Lee at http://poeticlicensee.wordpress.com/.  Thank you, all!  (If I forgot anyone, please don’t hate me—my brain is not what it used to be!)

blog vs newspapers Horsey

“I don’t want to go viral, I want to set hearts on fire.”― Coco J. Ginger

“My blog is a collection of answers people don’t want to hear to questions they didn’t ask.”― Sebastyne Young

 “If you’re going to fall out of love with public approval, something interesting will happen: people will be deeply attracted to your work.”― Jeff Goins

 “I finished the [blog] post reflecting on the fact that, despite all the changes in my life, maybe I wasn’t so different after all. If I typed it, maybe I could believe it, too.”― Stephanie Nielson

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 Eleanor Tomczyk and “How the Hell Did I End Up Here?” with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

 
32 Comments

Posted by on April 27, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

32 responses to “Celebrate, Good Times—Come On!

  1. Austin

    April 27, 2013 at 6:14 pm

    Congrats on 100,000 hits!

     
    • etomczyk

      May 1, 2013 at 9:59 am

      Thanks Austin. Appreciate it, and good luck on your screen writing.

       
  2. talesfromthemotherland

    April 27, 2013 at 7:22 pm

    Mazel Tov! Congratulations! Hell yeah! Way to go Eleanor!! You rock and I have enjoyed every minute of the ride. Personally, I can’t wait to read your book… CAN’T. WAIT! I’m honored that you included me in your thank yous, and would more than welcome a chance to eat cheese and crackers on your deck, at a spa… I would eat them in a house, I would eat them with a mouse, I would eat them here or there, I would eat them anywhere: if you were hosting! I’ve thought many times, It would be a blast to meet somewhere in the “middle” with some of the fine folk who I have gotten to know thru’ blogging and you would be way up on that list girlfriend. Congratulations! (BTW: I think you touched on most of the issues and funny things that have come up for me too, in blogging… family, friends, comments, etc).

     
    • etomczyk

      May 1, 2013 at 10:33 am

      Dawn: Thanks so much for my Dr. Seuss tour! I’ve never been Freshly Pressed and I doubt I ever will (language), so the 100,000 milestone is even sweeter. Thanks for helping me get there. Take care.

       
  3. Lindy Lee

    April 27, 2013 at 7:35 pm

    Amongst the huge numbers of emails received, when I scan down & howthehelldidienduphere shows up, I immediately smile because i know one of your posts will cheer me up, make me laugh out loud & leave me with recurring thoughts during the day of whatever you have chosen to give us, share with us, teach us, remind us, your followers in on WordPress…

     
    • etomczyk

      May 1, 2013 at 10:37 am

      Thanks Lindy Lee. That says a lot and I am greatly honored that my blog is one of the first that you read. Thank you for making my day! Your poetry always inspires me and I always look forward to what you’ve written as well. All the best.

       
  4. imagesbytdashfield

    April 27, 2013 at 7:52 pm

    She shoots! She scores! You go lady, congrats! That Cialis cartoon had me laughing though. I love how you find those things. And I cannot thank you enough for mentioning me. I’m doing my Sally Field routine now…”She likes me! She really likes me!” Getting the four of us on your deck would be more fun than should be legally allowed. Oh that blog post!!!!

     
    • etomczyk

      May 1, 2013 at 10:44 am

      Hi TD! You are truly one of the bloggers I’d like to meet someday. Your humor cracks me up and your eye for beauty as captured by your photography is just breathtaking. In the meantime, we’ll keep reading each other’s blogs and giving each other high-fives across the blogosphere. Have a great week.

       
  5. composerinthegarden

    April 27, 2013 at 9:57 pm

    Whoo hoo! Way to go, Eleanor – congratulations! You know I always beat a path to your blog door with every post, knowing that I am going to laugh or cry–usually both, and I always come away with something to ponder.
    How gracious of you to include me in your public thanks; that’s the icing on the cake of being able to read your work and comment 🙂
    Here’s to the next 100,000, my friend!

     
    • etomczyk

      May 1, 2013 at 11:09 am

      Lynn: Thanks for the “Whoo-hoo.” 100,000 in a year without being Freshly Pressed which makes it even more exciting because the count has come from people who came to visit my site, stayed, and brought along their friends. You’re one of my followers that I am so honored to have and feel humbled that you consider me worthy of reading. Love the garden pics already. Fabulouos!

       
  6. Har+new

    April 27, 2013 at 10:49 pm

    100K in under 2 years??? Wow!

     
  7. Valentine Logar

    April 28, 2013 at 6:57 am

    This is a pivotal point in time! Your friend told you to start a blog, I could kiss him because he convinced you to open your world and use your voice. Have something to say? My friend, when I see you in my e-mail you are the first thing I click to!

    I will bring the wine!

    Thank you for the mention, I can concur it would be a fabulous gathering of minds I am afraid though we might laugh to hard. The neighbors might wonder.

     
    • etomczyk

      May 3, 2013 at 10:54 pm

      Val. You’re the best. Thanks so much for your wonderful support. Loved the new flash fiction about “True” by the way. She definitely needs to appear again. Take care.

       
  8. Jean W

    April 28, 2013 at 3:48 pm

    Of course we really, really like you! In fact, we LOVE you and your blogs! Miss you. Need to catch up next time I’m up north! 🙂

     
    • etomczyk

      May 3, 2013 at 10:55 pm

      Hey Jean. So glad you stopped by and I appreciate the encouragement so much. Miss you–see you soon.

       
  9. Hudson Howl

    April 29, 2013 at 12:15 am

    Dances around the room like an imbecile. It ain’t purity, but hey, it’s a party.

    ……..t’s time to come together, It’s up to you What’s your pleasure? ……..Celebration!

    Every post I’ve read of yours has been a Celebration; a celebration of life, You speak, expose and address the nuances of ‘how to live’ in ones skin, how to face the stressors of a sometime silly, sometime cruel, definitely twisted world in which we co-habitat. But by end of each post, you leave me and I assume others feeling this time on earth is also the best thing we have going -that there is hope if we just keep on going, if we just keep questioning ourselves as well as all the shtufffs orbiting us.

    Finally I am humbled, nor do I think I could possibly express how I feel to be mentioned, to be included in what can be I assume an esteem list of mindful individuals. A few I know, many I don’t but I will in time visit them all.

    Ps……’falling asleep while doing the wild thing’, psssst WW, I read somewhere that intense sexual ecstasy can cause fainting, so puff your chest.

     
    • etomczyk

      May 4, 2013 at 8:27 am

      Hudson. Your words are so gracious and much too kind. You’re one of my favorites, so I really consider the fact that you deign to follow my blog and leave such thoughtful and poetic comments an honor. All the best to you–as always.

       
  10. aFrankAngle

    April 29, 2013 at 10:28 am

    Hey hey hey …. Congrats on 100 K!!!! Cheers to your efforts of making us laugh while delivering a poignant point! ,,, yep ,,, that’s your trademark.

    Thanks for the wine and cheese event on your deck! …. and I’ll gladly be there … but I’m a listener & observer when around others the first time …. besides, I’ll let Elyse do all the talkin …. and I don’t want to interrupt her!

     
    • etomczyk

      May 4, 2013 at 9:38 am

      Thanks Frank. You’re one of the reasons I reached 100,000 so quickly without being Freshly Pressed (I have a feeling that the language disqualifies), because you’ve been so generous in telling others about me. But the feeling is mutual. I love your blog. Thanks for the information you listed on your blog about the hacking attack. It was invaluable! Take care.

       
      • aFrankAngle

        May 4, 2013 at 9:25 pm

        Agree … language probably disqualifies many that are actually worthy. Otherwise, I’m not really sure what about FP’s criteria. Nonetheless, you’re awesome! …. and Hi WW!!!!!

         
  11. Kirsten

    April 29, 2013 at 2:44 pm

    Congrats on the 100K & thank you for the shoutout. See you again SOON. 🙂

     
    • etomczyk

      May 4, 2013 at 10:59 am

      Thanks Kirsten. I can’t thank you enough for all the support you’ve given me regarding the blog and my book. MUAH!

       
  12. Sylvester James LeBlanc

    April 30, 2013 at 8:34 pm

    Congrats on 100K I have to catch up on your blog. I took a break and I will definitely be reading all of the post I missed from you. You are such a fantastic writer

    Cheers!!!

    -Chris!

     
    • etomczyk

      May 4, 2013 at 11:01 am

      Hi Chris. So great to hear from you. Missed you. Hope you start writing again. Thank you so much for leaving such a wonderful comment. All the best to you and yours.

       
  13. Debora T

    May 1, 2013 at 8:50 am

    A home run as always – laughing my butt off about Mrs. Triple D. Congratulations on 100k+ – we all really, really love your work!

     
    • etomczyk

      May 4, 2013 at 11:03 am

      Hey Deb. Thank you for leaving a comment. That is so sweet. I owe you so much for all your support, not only of my blog, but of manuscript, as well. You’re the best. Can’t wait to see you and your wonderful hubbie soon. Cheers!

       
  14. Kathy P

    May 2, 2013 at 9:45 am

    Congrats on 100K! Another great milestone. Another fabulous blog! Keep ’em coming fabulous diva!

     
    • etomczyk

      May 4, 2013 at 11:04 am

      Thanks KP. I appreciate your wonderful support. All the best.

       
  15. becomingcliche

    May 3, 2013 at 10:54 am

    100K! You have arrived! And so have I, apparently. I am humbled to be listed among your fans.

    My older kids know they are safe from being blog-fodder without their permission, which just leaves Squish. He’ll be at the age of implied consent for another year, and after that I don’t know what I’ll do.

     
    • etomczyk

      May 4, 2013 at 11:16 am

      Hi BC. Thanks for commenting and I am sure you’ll find a way to always tell stories about Squish. He’s just too cute for words. All the best.

       
  16. diane

    May 10, 2013 at 1:21 pm

    I can’tstop laughing, thank you for this blog. I am hooked on your blog. PS Happy Mothers Day.

     
    • etomczyk

      May 10, 2013 at 2:09 pm

      Hi Diane. So glad you like it. Please tell all your family and friends! So great seeing you the other day. All the best.

       

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