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Archive for the ‘Getting Famous’ Category

Well, it’s pouring.  No, let me change that to bucketing.  For some, a depressing downer of a wet day, but for me, a perfect opportunity to hole up fireside and delve into post number fifty-one.

I’m not sure why it’s taken me so long to come to this place and point for inspiration.  After all, I love this lady, her story, her blog and her wonderful book.  She came highly recommended by a friend of mine a few years ago and let me tell you, one taste and I was hooked.

A ‘foodie’ I am not, but I do eat the stuff and I find it’s much, much better when delicious.  (Simply picturing me winking here is sufficient because when I actually do it, I look a bit like my back just went out)  I digress…

This Superwoman does it all; blogs, cooks, writes books, snagged a husband is a wife, runs businesses, grows babies, photographs all of the above and looks fabulous while doing it.

I’d like to say I adore this (insert one specific thing about her here) the most, but I can’t.  The whole package is just crazy palatable.  Her writing style is seducingly smooth; her subject matter, quite literally devourable.

Spending endless hours in the scullery, or simply eating what comes your way, this master of many trades will arrive at your heart’s doorstep whether she journeys there mentally or digestively.

The site: Orangette, the heroine: Molly Wizenberg.

Molly started her blog in 2004 and published her book in 2009.  Her blog is still going strong and her book is a must-read.  She connects food, dishes and recipes with reflections and her descriptives will have you salivating.  The cuisine is undeniably delectable but honest accounts of her days in Paris, her father and his passing will have your heart aching.

Her very first blog post is here and a glimpse into her book can be found here.

This post wouldn’t be complete if I didn’t acknowledge her grace and generosity.  In March 2011, I emailed Molly, asking if she’d meet in an alley at Delancey (which she happens to own) during one of the nights I’d be in town.  I never expected an answer, but thought it would be a good story, me explaining the nutty thing I’d attempted to pull off.

As luck would have it, she replied.

Within an hour…maybe less…I had an email from Molly Wizenberg saying; “Sure.”

I was ahh-mazed, ahh-stounded and ahh-bsolutely freaking out.

*Side Note: I am in no way encouraging anyone to follow my lead.  This was over a year ago and ‘Mrs. Wizenberg’ has since started a second book, had a baby and opened another bar/restaurant (named Essex, FYI) and is, presumably, much, much busier than she was way back then.

I was very touched by her kindness and will never forget the evening or the experience.  If you ever happen to read this, oh great one, I thank you from the bottom of my writer-reader heart.

By the way…the food just happened to be top-notch.

Molly and Hazy hangin’ Delancey style.

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liebster blog award

Awards…I’ll admit it here and now, in blood (or keyboard type and virtual paper as this case may be) for all to see; awards pinken my cheeks and ignite my very being with quivers of pleasure. It’s also kinda special that this comes alongside my 50th post.

I write this blog to satiate a passion for creativity and I get a somewhat insane rush from knowing people out there are so generously reading the words I have linked together on a shoestring budget of ability.

Much like my pal over at WhiskeyTangoFoxtrot4 (yes, that’s W…T…F…4 for those of you who are afraid to ask), I am tickled this platform exists to draw us all that much closer to knowing what makes one another tick.

I thank her for the nomination and will follow her lead in bestowing you with five, hopefully not sleep-inducing things about me:

1. I am a perfectionist and sadly, this gets in the way of me completing, umm…most things in my life. That, if you can’t do it perfectly er, right, don’t do it at all mentality is a real buzz kill.

2. I love hard work. Tough to admit, but I love doing things like cleaning the whole house and feeling the ache at the end of the day. (I have to do less and less to feel the same amount of ache with each passing year – score) I’m pretty sure I was a workhorse in another life. Or, maybe that’s this life – I might be confused.

3. I’m a Make-Up Artist by day and while I adore painting faces, I’d gladly pack up my colorful kit should someone hand me an advance and a book deal, only having the caboodle resurface for free family, friends and fun.

4. Contrary to my list of friends and often-full house, I am not a social butterfly. I’ll kick back with the best of them and have a darn good time while doing it, but I very much relish alone time and am rarely pining when hanging with me, myself and I.

5. I am a tough Irish girl. Everyone who knows me can attest to that. What they might not realize, and I can only hold myself responsible for this suppression, is that on the inside I’m as fragile as a twig bearing a heavy load of snow. I’m easily broken.

WTF4’s questions for me:

1-If you could for one day be the opposite sex, what would you do? I would enjoy being able to say whatever I want and have it not be the end of the world.

2-What is your favourite book of all time? No fair! There are too many favorites for too many different reasons! But ok, if you’re going to make me choose – “The Woman Who Walked Into Doors” by Roddy Doyle.

3-What is the one thing you least love about yourself and the one thing you most love about yourself? The fact that I’m a perfectionist and, the fact that I’m a perfectionist. And a bonus: the fact that I’m a perfectionist who rarely does anything perfectly.

4-IF you won ALOT of money, how would you use it? I’d pay off my massive debt and then see what everyone else needs. After that, I’d reinstall the bathroom that I ripped out two years ago and ah, never replaced.

5-Sadly, b/c we all die….cremated, buried or burned? Your choice is….? CREMATION. No way, no how I wanna be rotting in a claustrophobic box 8 feet under. Sorry folks!

As per being graced with a Liebster nomination, it is my pleasure to pass along the cheer. Here are my five nominees: (Some have more than 300 followers, but I’m a rebel)

1 Story A Week

www.1storyaweek.com

A blog for short stories – original, entertaining and written in that easy tone that is so very difficult to achieve.

lth0ms0n

www.lth0ms0n.wordpress.com

Self-described as a “neurotic twenty-something”, I admire this young man’s dedication to his passion and his desire to spread it through the written word.

Renew Moon Yoga

www.renewmoonyoga.wordpress.com

Not just Yoga, Renew Moon is a place to find comfort, inspiration and good reads.

Colored Brush

www.coloredbrush.com

Following her dreams, she paints with imagination, glorious color and the freedom of a creative mind.

Saige Wisdom

www.saigewisdom.blogspot.ca

Saige, (aka) Sara is funny, generous and downright clever. Her blog is entertaining, informative and, at times, heart-achingly honest.

The above five have now been officially nominated and it is their choice (all obligation forbidden here) to keep the party going. Should they choose to rock it, here’s the drill:

~ Write a post with a link to me for the nomination

~ List a few ‘facts’ about yourself to share

~ Answer my five questions

~ Nominate a self-chosen amount of your fave bloggers (with three hundred or less followers)

Here are their questions:

1 ~ What drives you to do whatever it is you do?

2 ~ What brings you the most joy in life?

3 ~ Are you where you want to be at this stage in the game?

4 ~ If you could change one decision you’ve made in life, it would be…?

5 ~ Sweet, savory or both?

Good Lord – I think that wraps it up!

Again, thanks to WTF4 for the vote of confidence and the motivation to write today.

Thanks to all of you for reading!

Hazy out.

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Anything is possible.  It’s proven time and time again.  Impossible can be reshaped into plausible with imagination, talent and, lest we forget, a ton of hard work.  Creativity is the sell, the appeal and the draw and expert fabrication is why they buy.  It’s the heartfelt hustle and they’re the happy hoarders.

They howl at the TV; “Oh, come on!” as they check to ensure the next episode is set to PVR.  Favorite authors are inhaled even though the ending of their latest book leaves readers mouthing the words; “What the…?”

Fulfillment.  Contentment.  Enjoyment.    The value they get out of these experiences goes a long way.  They sink into convincing characters cloaked in far-fetched fables and have faith in the web of worlds spun smoothly over their sleek screens.

A well-told story where things that would never, could never happen in a million years can bring home the gold.  Gold that is, provided we’ve upheld but a few of our reader’s simple standards and expectations; our characters must be interesting, likeable, tragic, tormented, flawed, endearing, heroic, vulnerable, quirky, sad with just enough happy and of course, impeccably written which inevitably leads us to believable.

Effortless.  Painless.  Sleepless

Serve up believable and they’ll hunker down, guzzle, gobble and gorge.  If they get their fill, they will, without a doubt, be back for the next round.

They want blood.  Throw down a goblet.  Open a vein.

Ernest Hemingway

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It’s my birthday!  I don’t often use exclamation marks, but in this case I’m attempting to make myself feel better about being another year older.  It’s already lost its audacity though, as my birthday was yesterday.  It turns out yesterday was an optimum day for birthdays, not new posts.

I’m from the North of Ireland, Belfast born.  I’m proud of my heritage and cherish my visits back to the abundance of family and friends I am lucky enough to have left over there.

Searching for a little inspiration to adorn my facebook page on the morn’ of my birth day, I came across a quote by a fellow Irishman, Brendan Behan.  It goes like this:

I’m a drinker with a writing problem.” ~ Brendan Behan

Now, I have no way of really knowing why, but I promptly lost two followers; almost as fast I uploaded, they checked out.

Brendan and I are trying not to take it personally, but we have to be honest, it stung just a little, especially for me, it being my special day n’ all.

I could jump to many conclusions about why they deserted me, but we all know what assuming does.  It’s not flattering.  I’m just going to accept their departure gracefully and adopt the attitude that perhaps I have done you all a disservice in not making clear (which, by the way, is the opposite of hazy) what you can expect from me.  I accept responsibility.  I am eager to rectify:

1. I do not praise alcoholism, but I will promote someone who was able to achieve substantial success and become “one of the most important Irish literary figures of the 20th century” in his forty-one short years here on earth.

2. I don’t pick and choose.  Holding back is not my forte.

3. I fib.  I pick, I choose, I do hold back.  I don’t depict autobiographical events without blending them into almost unrecognizable abstract.

4. I’m British, I write and I drink.  Unlike Mr. Behan, I don’t see any of these as a problem, but for your reading pleasure, I try not to mix the three.

5. I secretly like being another year older.  I just needed an excuse to use an exclamation mark.

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I’m not a rah, rah, rah girl.  I believe I’ve mentioned before, I was never a cheerleader. Don’t get me wrong; I’m all for a little support, but it can only go so far. Eventually, the game ends, everyone goes home, the pom poms are tossed and we’re alone. What then?

I haven’t written for a while. I’ve been traveling, dirty and distracted, busy, not connected to the World Wide Web; all valid reasons for my somewhat short hiatus.

We all know I could’ve made time. I had my laptop. Writing and saving to post at a later date was always an option.

But I discovered something interesting about myself – the greater the gap, the heavier the fog, the fainter my fortitude.

A few cheers along the way did light a search for what inspired the rally. I reread several of my past posts and found myself thinking; “How did I do that? How did I sound so convincing?” Convincing that is, that I believed in myself, what I was writing and my ability to write it.

It proved to me something that I didn’t know I didn’t know; belief  in one’s self is everything.

Hopefully the cheers don’t stop. They are much needed and are appreciated more than possibly known, but the belief those cheers cause us to chase is imperative to persuasive writing. Hell, belief is imperative to doing anything convincingly.

We need to enjoy the rally and not engage the boos, we’ve gotta hear the accolades and not cry over the crud, we must pledge to prepare, perform and produce, not fall prey to position.

Success is the prize; trainers, cheerleaders and coaches can help push us there, but it’s our own two feet that will find the line and finish the race.

Don’t give up your place for anyone.

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I am overly emotional today, so I feel that a post with an Adele reference is in order.

Don’t worry – we can still get along. I’m sure we can agree that the woman’s got pipes, regardless of how we may feel about her personally.

So, yes…Adele. She’s got pipes, but it doesn’t end there. The girl’s got guts. She has the backbone it takes to write down her deepest, most private thoughts and feelings and send them off into the universe for all to enjoy…and judge. Oh, guts I tell you.

I’ve probably listened to way too much of her and don’t lie; you have too. We’ve all done the Rolling in the Deep” sixty times in one day, thing. I won’t force concordance; I will simply overlook any denial. (If I weren’t such a professional, I might insert a winky face here with a dash of LOL)

I stumbled upon a snippet of her ‘live in concert’ last night as I was heading to the dinner table. Of course I’ve seen it before, but last night, this particular part stopped me in my tracks.

There she was, black dress, sixties hair, lashed to the extreme, (lovely, but extreme) the spotlight drifting down in waves, powdering her with stardust. Either that, or she was about to be hoovered up into the mother ship, although in Adele’s case, I’m pretty sure it was stardust.

However, I digress. This particular part halted me. She was singing Someone Like You. Yes, a torrid, gut-wrenching song at the best of times, but towards the end, she stopped and let the crowd sing. Now, I know she wrote this song out of heartache and heartbreak, so melancholy is an expected response, however, considering she’s sung it a bazillion times, one can only assume the wound has, at the very least, scabbed over.

No…her emotion seemed to stem from the crowd singing her song; more specifically, the crowd knowing her words. Words she probably wrote on soggy, tear-stained scraps at 3am, alone in the bleak of her grotty little flat, while she contemplated quietly slitting her wrists. But there it was; her painful story dripping off the tongues of strangers, emblazoned onto their hearts and now suspended in the rafters of the Royal Albert Hall.

(It all goes down here. Stick around till the end for the good stuff)

And, it made me think. It would be extraordinary to have people know us that way or, at least that version of us. We can give them all or we can give them bits, we can give them realities or we can give them adaptations. Whatever we’re serving, they want it. They wanna sit at our table and watch us eat, stand there as we have coffee in our robes and brush our teeth. They want to walk in our shoes. They crave our pain and desire our joy. It’s ours to give. We can hand it over. It just takes an iron gut.

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Yesterday it was chocolate eggs. Today it was laundry, appies, red wine, a trip to Thrifty’s, a purchase of Element ankle socks (for my fastidious tween boy) and ‘trucks’ for my daughter’s longboard. Maybe tomorrow it’ll be Vodka and toilets…

Whatever it takes, wherever I wander, however much chocolate I eat, it’s there. In the back of my mind, the blog is always looming. The blog and its Saran Wrap; the writing…and what to write. I just started. How did this become a part of me…so crazy quick?

I let it, that’s how. In fact, I threw the door open, dragged it in, handcuffed it to the chair and fed it cream buns. Same way I get all my friends to stay. (That’s normal, right?) I am now addicted…to blogs and cream buns.

So, why do we blog? We all have our reasons, equal and assorted. And since I don’t know what yours are, I’ll share mine:

Hazy’s Top Five Reasons To Blog

1. Treasures Unearthed. No hiding in the drawer beside our beds. Like sending out a message in a bottle, it’s cast off into the waves to fight or flight.

2. Danger Free Zone. Building it doesn’t mean they’ll come. (Sorry, Kevin) When we throw that bottle out into the ocean, there’s a flutter in our gut…a little fear that we might get a response. FYI: #blogginganonymouslyislikewearinganinvisiblecloak

3. Baby Steps. Is there a step quota for tots learning to walk? (No is the answer for those of you who don’t know much about tots) So, how much do we have to write? As much (or as little) as we want. After all, it’s not a novel. It’s not even a short story and the tot is not on a treadmill, unless we want it to be.

4. Prowess Perfection. We hone our skills by writing regularly and receiving feedback. What doesn’t kill us makes us stronger and really, a paper cut hurts more than a nasty comment or a bad review, so don’t pick out a headstone just yet.

5. Connect Creatively. Whether it’s with ourselves or with others, making a connection with our capability is good for us, good for our health, our minds, our bodies and our souls. Free your mind…and the rest will follow. (Thanks, En Vogue)

Gee…not one of my top fives is about getting famous. Who knew?

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I was having a tough time getting started this morning, so I ate two…okay, three (but they were small!) Nestle Aero Easter eggs and now I’m ready to go. I’m ready, that is, to tell you about fib number two.

In “Fibbing on the Front Line” I claim that saying I snatched back a piece of my life, which happened to be writing, was a bit of an overstatement. Actually, I call it a fib, and go on to describe the fear, my fear, of sitting down to do what my heart desires.

No doubt, it is tough to write. It is difficult to create a world with your own words, your own ideas…literally a figment of your imagination. Will people get it? Will they like it? Will they even read it? And then there’s the; what if they read it? Good Lord, just close the lid now.

But wait! That last one…someone might read it, understand it…heck, there’s even a definite possibility they could indeed enjoy it. Holy moly. You could be an Author!

So, back to my fib. I did write. I created a 56,000 word, fluffy, chick-lit (apparently you’re not supposed to call it chick-lit anymore) novel. Yup, I did. I took the NaNoWriMo challenge and banged it out in thirty days, start to finish. I scrapped caution and quality and let the words flow…free like the wind. It was very liberating and ultimately, a rocking goal grabber.

The gist of NaNoWriMo is that you, very simply, write. You lay down 50,000 words in 30 days. That would be 1,666 words per day, give or take 20. You don’t edit, you don’t backtrack and you don’t fret. You just…keep going. It works!

But then what? Well, you edit. Or, as was my case, you let it sit. And, sit it did, for about a year. I couldn’t get myself to touch it. I was overwhelmed by all the words I had so freely let loose. Don’t get me wrong; if it weren’t for NaNoWriMo, I most likely never would’ve gotten as far as I did. I give Chris Baty huge props. But the rest was up to me. I had to throw myself across the finish line.

When I first began the challenge, my goal was, of course, to achieve the 50,000 words by the deadline. But, there was more. I wanted to send it to an Agent…and I wanted a response.

So, I hauled it out, dusted it off, and I edited. For another year. Now, that might lead you to believe I ended up with a masterpiece, a great Classic. Hardly. The end result was the original skeletal frame sporting a bit of flesh, maybe a few major organs…and some ‘functionability’. But, I was proud.

I sent it to twenty-five Agencies. I heard back from all twenty-five. Yay me! Obviously, they were all rejections or I would’ve typed “YAY ME! (duh) but still, their responses were filled with positive encouragement and polite comments. They’d actually read my babble. My gibberish! Okay, another yay me.

But, as the saying goes, give ‘em an inch; they’ll take a mile. Greed has struck. Indulgence is slowly overcoming my fundamental sheepish contentment. I want it published. I want to be an Author. I want someone else to say; YAY YOU.

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You should love yourself.  You should pat yourself on the back every now and then and God knows, I am all for splurging in a little self-indulgent pampering when feeling so inclined.  But, how much is too much?  As the world evolves and we become more and more self-sufficient in our technologically advancing environment, it’s becoming easier and easier to create your own fame and sometimes, fortune.

But, how easy should it be?  My kids surf YouTube frequently and I am always amazed at what they’re watching. Teen goofballs with helium infused voices are getting an average of 4 million (yes, I did say four million) hits on any given video spot.  I mean, what the…?  Again, amazed.

Now, I suppose one could argue that it’s not all that easy. You could say it takes time to build up a following.  You could claim that it takes effort to create a niche for yourself amongst the over 2 billion a day viewers.  (yes, I did say over two billion people are clicking on youtube a day)  You could grumble that it takes discipline to create ‘worthy’ content for the hungry audience.  But what it really takes is balls. They don’t have to be particularly big or made of steel. You just need a pair.  After all, how hard is it to send something (anonymously, if you want) out into cyberspace? (Apparently I’m not lacking)

One could also argue that if you were anything less than brilliant, no one would take a second look.  But…I think that’s a hard sell.  People will latch on to anyone and anything if the moment is right.  It’s been proven.

Ooh, I’m not saying the attention isn’t deserved.  In fact, in some cases the talent is so astounding, it’s hard to believe they started where the did.  Greyson Chance  is an impressive example.  (Click the link; goosebumps galore) The thing is, with a voice like that, where would he be without YouTube?  I have to trust that someone would’ve had the good sense to push him towards the props he so obviously deserves.  But…we’ll never know.

Does it matter whether you toil to achieve success the old-fashioned way or fast-track your way to the top via self-promotion on the world wide web ?  You tell me.  No wait, I don’t wanna know.  This may be the only chance I have.

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