Wednesday, June 17, 2009

For You.

A few weeks ago, the fabulous and funny Tessa of Tessa Scoffs bestowed this award on me!


I am honored to have received it and am just so impressed that someone was able to recreate my likeness onto such a small thumbnail. (Ohhh, okay, fine. My fantasy likeness, sans the orthopedic Danskos, prescription sunglasses and with a wasp waist and a poodle.)

In all seriousness, thank you Tessa, and right back atcha.

And now comes the time where I bestow this award on what I consider to be the 5 best blogs, or tell you my 5 least favorite things, or 5 things you don't know about me and my 5 digit pin code for the ATM machine. Welllll... I'm going to choose five things and shake it up a bit, so here goes:

~ If you are on my blog roll thingamajig: this award is for you.

~ If you follow me (and thank you!): congratulations, you just got an award.

~ If I follow you: I like you, I really like you.

~ If you are reading this and you have a blog: you're an award winner.

~ If you're not reading this, but you have a blog: this one's for you.

Because here's the thing: putting yourself out there is damn hard, and I admire each and every one of you. I don't care if you're anonymous, or a persona, or yourself writing about what you had for breakfast. I don't care if you're writing to keep in touch with family or friends, to get your feelings out or getting something off your chest, or talking about what you wore or found on etsy. I don't care if you have 5 million followers or a book deal or if you have never written anything but your name before, or if you're a spelling bee champion or can't even spell cat. What I care about is that you are writing, and you are writing publicly. To me, that is one of the bravest things you can do, because exposing yourself and your thoughts and feelings and words can be downright scary. I find that to be so admirable, and it's something I'm pretty intimidated by. (And a lot of it has to do with atrocious grammar.)

I'll admit, I let this blog lag because of something that happened to me a few months back. I was out at a nightclub, blah blah blah, and I made an offhand comment in a conversation. A girl with whom I'm not friends said to me sarcastically, "Is this going to be one of your long and boring stories that no one wants to listen to?"

I felt like I had been punched in the throat. Yes, true, this girl and I are not friends and do not like each other, so her credibility and anything she says should not be taken seriously. And yes, true, word economy is not my strong suit and I tend to blab. And sure, I may be a little boring... But still, it hurt. She found that button to push, the one thing that would upset me, and she knew it. But I couldn't stop thinking about it. I went from embarrassed to angry to defensive to sad, in no particular order on no particular day. I've had criticism before -- I survived high school, went to grad school and have endured heinous writing groups, for godssakes -- but this was deliberate and mean. It made me reassess a lot of things and wreaked havoc on my insecurity and wreaked havoc on writing the blog. To make a long and boring story short: it sucked.

But what I realized, that even despite this woman's tactless comment that I let get to me when I shouldn't have, is that I love writing, and I love writing this blog, and missed it. I never let it go away completely -- I was writing it in my head, even if I wasn't logging on. And then I sat down and started to type, and grew a skin that looks a bit like a lizardy, thanks to my new determination and older age.

In order to put yourself out there you need a thick skin, and I think all of our skins have grown a little tougher as soon as we signed up to do this. But there is something about the vulnerability and thrill as you hit "POST," and I picture all of you doing it, and it makes me love you all. I think of you coming up with ideas, feeling the sense of Accomplishment when you are finished and pleased with your efforts, feeling good when your ideas come across. I'm happy at the thought of all of you getting supportive and kind comments, and hate the thought of any of you hurt by assholes being assholes for the sake of being assholes. I'm thrilled that you're writing.

In short (See? I can change!): you all deserve this award. Congratulations.

So, okay, maybe I messed up this award giving process a little. (I'm not good at chain mails, either.) But I want you all to accept this award, and pass it to someone else, and let them know that they are fabulous for putting, uh, words on a screen. (Pen to paper sounds so much nicer, though.) And that you and they are Accomplishing Great Things, which is what this blog is all about.

Now if you'll excuse me, I have to get off my soapbox and go and edit a really long and boring (no kidding) blog entry.

Thanks, again, Tessa, and thank you all!


The Sardonicist said...

i really, really hope i don't know the person who said that to you. in the years i've know you, i've NEVER heard a boring word come out of your mouth, and when they're strung together to make a story, they're that much better. it's people like that who have no appreciation for the written word, or aren't mature enough to have an attention span longer than your average text message.

the correct reponse to her would have been, "yes, it is going to be long and boring, so i suggest you get comfortable."

~Tessa~Scoffs said...

Was that the Knute Rockney speech of blogging or WHAT! I feel like I just graduated from Blogversity and you were our Valedictorian!

Lara Mijatovich said...

I'm with Tessa. And Skorpeo. Except I would have just poured a drink on her. (And you KNOW I would do it!)

I would like to give you another, really special award: THE YOU AND I HAVE HAD THE LONGEST MOST MEANINGFUL RELATIONSHIP OUTSIDE OF FAMILY award. I know Monica beats me on the other side of that, but I also know you feel the same about me (aside from Monica!) You are a wonderful woman even if I didn't love you at first sight when I was 11. I did shortly thereafter and I still love you Kara. 30 years is something. I guess we are pretty lucky....even if you did wreck the paint job on my Valiant! You're excused from that because you were right about who I married...I'll listen more closely in the future!!

Sparkleneely said...

Skorpeo -- Thanks so much, and ha! let's just say you know how small the world is... ;) But knowing her doesn't matter... I know I can get longwinded and boring, but here's the thing -- I was lame for getting derailed by a stupid comment. But I thank you and miss you!!!

Tessa, oh God, I know it was cheeeeeezy! but TRUE. Thanks for the award, lady!!!

Lara -- WAIT. What did I do to the paint job on The Valiant??? Did I barf on it? I never drove it, so I know it wasn't that... and yes, you should have listened to me about He Who Should Not Be Named On His Birthday. But W is terrific and I'm happy for you, and so happy you came last night! Thanks for 30 years of friendship, and here's to at least 50 more. I love you!!! xoxoxo

Robin said...

First, let me say that I love your blogs and enjoy the heck out of reading them each and everytime...and I'm a really busy person with not a lot of time to waste! (I'm aching to start my own blog...but, ain't got the time...yet!)

Secondly, what is it about human beings that we can hear kudos all day long and only REALLY become affected by the ONE snotty comment from someone who doesn't really matter in our universe??
I'm not criticizing you, I do it, too.
There's something about that one negative comment that seems to stick like super glue, while all the praise runs off like oil. Tis a shame. We need to stop allowing the toxic ones to ruin a perfectly happy life!

Love to you,
Robin :)

Dane said...

I don't like that woman any more than I like your college roommate with the lips posters who said music was for boys. I'd like some government names for them, please.

I think you're wonderful. That's all. I just think you're wonderful. And you're by no means boring!

Anonymous said...

Hey Karen- I just wanted to tell you that you have really inspired me to become a more active reader and writer. I think that your stories are always interesting and easy to read. Don't let anyone influence the way you choose to talk about your experiences. besides, she's probably jealous : )

Maria said...

WHAT?! I'm going to speak for every one of your friends and fans and say, 'Let us at her!' That punk's asking for a beat-down! I know this'll seem like a pat answer, but, look, clearly you're pretty popular. Between the amount of people who follow you, comment on your blog regularly, and link to your blog.. AND all the people following you on Flickr.. more than a handful of people think you're pretty great. And anyone who would make such a stupid, snide comment is just jealous! Also, if she hates you so much, maybe she shouldn't look at your blog, period! Is someone forcing her? Sounds like she hasn't matured past junior high!

I, for one, adore your blog! There's something about reading and the internet that doesn't mix for me. I usually can't read long articles up on these eye-burning screens, but I eat up every word of every one of your posts. Even if I don't comment, I have read every single word and, inevitably, loved every second of it.

Sparkleneely said...

Robin -- Thanks so much, doll! And I can believe you're busy -- your bags are THE BEST. I just love them so much! But take this award when you DO start a blog!

And you're right, it is SO true. What's that saying -- it takes 10 compliments to make up for one insult? I don't know why that is... but let's make a pact: NO MORE!!! Love to you, too -- and THANK YOU for the birthday wishes! :)

Awww, Dania, neither of them matter. What matters is that we both think the other is wonderful. And that we are separated at birth, except you got the excellent photographer gene, and I get to enjoy it vicariously. Love you, sweetie!

Anonymous -- that is one of the best things anyone's ever said to me. To inspire someone to read and write more is the most amazing thing I could ever imagine. Good God, *I'M* even jealous of me right now! ;) Seriously, thank you. That means the world to me.

Sparkleneely said...

Maria -- oh honey, you're the best. Have I told you lately how much I absolutely love the new installment? NO? That's because I'm lame, and I haven't stopped laughing. I'm still laughing about THE CONDENSED MILK over a month ago!

And really, the girl is neither here nor there. She doesn't matter. What's so awful about this whole situation is that I didn't shake it off and let it roll off my back and forget about it -- I let it get to me and fester. If I were to ever talk to her, she probably wouldn't even remember saying it. It was ME who was the stupid one. And the smartest move is to let it go. Which is why I wrote this, to get it all out.

And to tell amazing bloggers such as yourself that you deserve this award -- you ARE fabulous. Your writing and wit keeps me in stitches, and I love all your material -- I just LOVE it. Someday I hope to see a Curly Wurly book... I'd buy it for ALL my contacts on Flickr!

Thanks, sweetie! xoxo

alix said...

Here here!! ( love what Tess Scoffs said, you ARE our valedictorian!) I was wondering why you hadnt' posted in a while. What a nasty little sour puss that girl is, and SO CLEARLY jealous. I hate her. Although hating is a waste of energy so lets not even hate her. We shall pity her and send her on her merry, lonely way. "Bitter table for one? Take a seat at the counter please." She's a meany, as Wolfie would say.

You rock. I love your stories. More please!

Eartha Kitsch said...

What in the holy hell? That broad is insane. I'd listen to you read the entire phone book. Twice. And laugh until I pee every time. You are the best writer that I know. Or don't know. You deserve all kinds of fabulous awards. You also deserve for me to form a posse hell-bent on payback to teach that mouthy girl a thing or two. Just sayin'...

Donna Tagliaferri said...

Wow I totally know how you feel. When I was in college I was offered a column in a large newspaper. I was so was unpaid, but I did not care at all. I just wanted to prove myself. I went home and told my parents. My mother gave me that useless child look and asked. "how much does it pay?" I went into my room threw my purse through the window. I didn't write again for YEARS. And every time I did I looked behind me to see if someone was watching, someone who would remind me writing was a waste of time. We are sensitive people, the muse is sensitive...
I have spent a lot of time reinventing myself. I am still sensitive, but kind of a salty broad.
The woman who was mean to you needed to be in your path. Now you know how to avoid folks like that. Next time you encounter that attitude it won't effect you the same way. Congrats! Lesson well learned. Love your blog...soldier on my friend.

Anonymous said...

Why did you let what this lady had to say hurt you so much? Was it really worth not writing for so long. If writing is something you love to do then you should do it no matter what other people say or think.