Back to the Blog and Project: Happily Ever After – a Preview to a Review

DSCN0939

Photo taken on December 16, 2010 in the 19th, Ave Jean Jaurès

Yeah, it is supposed to say “Brasserie,” but the “Br” part of the lights wasn’t working. No, this was not Photoshopped. It really appeared this way. When I saw it, I laughed, and HAD to take a photo.

Somehow, it is appropriate for this post. 🙂

Failure is not falling down, but refusing to get back up. Chinese Proverb

I have not failed. I‘ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work. Thomas Alva Edison

Get back on the horse that bucked you. American Proverb (no link, except this one — how to REALLY get back on a horse that’s bucked you)

First off, let me get a couple of things set “out there.”

This post is not a way to fish for compliments or appeal for pity. I have seen too many accusations and/or criticism online of how bloggers can be a whiny, self-absorbed lot, and I am not even going to pretend that this blog is so important that life for myself or for others would somehow not go on if I quit it. I’m not THAT messed up. So I’d like to ask you to just read this post with an open mind and maybe think about similar situations in which you’ve been. If you have any comments or thoughts along those lines, cool. I welcome them.

Next, yeah, I have been really down in the month of January. The worst part of it is that the things that happened in January, as I wrote to Andi of Misadventures With Andi in a note the other day, have to be kept to myself:

“…several things happened in January about which I can’t write — stuff that infringes on other people’s privacy as well as tricky things about my personal situation, too. But of course, I can think of nothing else. Me, who usually wants to be as honest as possible without crossing those lines of privacy, is stuck for words as a result. It’s all that’s on my mind, and it is really hard to blog about “Paris stuff” when there is life stuff going on, you know?”

Together with a shitty early January there was the Motherboard Meltdown that finally occurred a little after midway through the month. We knew it was something that would eventually arrive. With “overclocking” errors and difficult computer start-ups for months, it was inevitable that it would occur. I guess we are lucky that there was no actual fire, something I hear can happen! We lost all our stuff on the C: drive, but good news is that the most important things to me were backed up in other places. Sure, there are some things that were lost, but nothing truly irreplaceable. That I know of. 😉

But, being prevented technologically from writing as well as spiritually/mentally backed up about what in the hell TO write has left me sitting in the dirt, feeling sorry for myself, and playing at a bit of “sour grapes” about the whole blogging thing. The conversation in my head went something like this:

“Well if I can’t write about with honesty what has been going on with me, and I can’t write on my blog because I don’t have a frakin’ computer to write with, then to HELL with it all! Who needs it, anyway?”

There were a whole lot of other ornery thoughts that were going through my mind about the whole “blogging thing,” too. It was not nice stuff.

So, I have been really and truly thinking about setting aside this blog and not writing on it anymore. I’m sure that has happened to every blogger who has been at it for a while, and for a variety of reasons. Some decide that’s exactly what they need to do: stop. Others take a break, and a few weeks or months down the road, return to writing when the muse hits them with an idea (now I am picturing Greek Goddesses with baseball bats). Still others work around in their minds how to get back up on that horse and ride, and just get back to posting.

I’m trying for the latter. I’m working on the principle “fake it ‘til you make it” and composing a post in Google Docs today, something that has taken me all frakin’ day to do. (I’ve been watching Season One of “Battlestar Galactica,” haha. For those of you not in the “know,” see FRAK). I’ve hemmed and hawed, piddled on Facebook and Twitter, bleached all the mold in the shower, given myself an allergy attack as a result, made multiple cups of Lady Grey (Gray?) tea, gone to the bathroom numerous times as a result, and now I am finally in the ninth paragraph, with a word count of about 600 words so far.

As it goes in the 1995 French movie La Haine, one of my favorites, and this one of my most favorite things I can say in French: “Jusqu’ici, tout va bien.” So far, so good.

Our computer was repaired this past weekend. Our trusty, techie downstairs neighbor and friend, David, helped us get it back up and running again. With being connected to my online community once more, it made me think further about my blog and what I want to do with it. With everything working again, it’s a more pressing matter to me, and I realized I want to address where my head is at with the blog. I also want to give some “shout outs” to people who have given me very good food for thought as to whether or not to keep up the blogging, and prompting me to realize this blog is indeed something I want to continue, though it might need some reinvention in approach/theme/content for me to feel energized in continuing it.

First goes to MJ, the American Mom in Paris, with whom I had coffee on Tuesday morning. I was talking about some of the stuff I’m addressing in this blog, and she commented to me about the incredibly loyal and special following I have here. I got all mushy inside, and thought, “Why yes, I do have a very loyal following.” In fact, many of those loyal followers took the time to comment on the previous blog I wrote, the one about the computer meltdown, and they had very nice and very uplifting things to say.

I also got kind notes from people who were sending good thoughts for a quickly repaired computer: an old and wonderful college friend with whom I’ve reconnected via Facebook (yet another nice reunion!) wrote to me, I had an email from the aforementioned Andi inquiring on how things were going, and I had notes and Facebook wall posts from my blogging friends of long ago in other blogiverses far, far away. Too many people have made me feel cared about in the past several weeks.

Photo © Virginia Jones, photo links to her site

Then today, I saw this photo from Virginia of Paris Through My Lens. The photo was taken on the evening of January 10, 2011, which was one of the most fun evenings I have had since coming to Paris. I love Paul and me in that photo (Paul is the dude on my left. Both of us are in the upper right of the photo. No, I don’t think you are unobservant and can’t figure it out, lol, I just thought there may be a new visitor here that may not know what Paul and I look like. Okay, maybe I am writing that out for the grossly unobservant amongst us, hahaha! No offense to you observant folks, though). I view it with bittersweetness, however, for January 11 quickly became one of the worst days I have had in Paris, in fact probably one of the Top 10 worst in my life. And it involves the shit about which I cannot write and so that’s all I am gonna say about that. But I look at that photo and it makes me cry, for good reasons and bad ones. It’s an awesome photo. A commemorative one for me.

What I realized with seeing the photo is this:

“I can DO this. I can get back up and write on this blog. It’s okay if I have to keep some important and life-shifting things to myself — all I need to do is write about the fact that’s what I need to do, and people will get it. Or at least the ones who really are kind and understanding people will get it.”

I have come to realize today that I want to do this. I still have some doubts about it, doubts about where to go from here on this blog (more on that in another post, perhaps), doubts about its value in my life, but I know I want to keep up the connections I have made in the Paris blogging community. I know I want to be that voice for people who are interested about Parisian life from my perspective, or those who are looking for a little vicarious living to brighten up their day.

So there you go. Back to the blog.

Project: Happily Ever After

Project: Happily Ever After - photo courtesy of Alisa Bowman's site (photo links to it)

I also wanted to mention that back in late December/early January, I received a preview copy of a book to review from author Alisa Bowman. Her site (and book title) is Project: Happily Ever After (Saving Your Marriage When the Fairytale Falters). I read the book, started making notes on it, and was planning on posting a review of the book before mid-January. Life interfered with doing so, something which Alisa was very gracious about. I’m still planning on writing about my thoughts on the book for it’s really well-written and enlightening on its topic, something I know a little about from having been in two of them, now approaching a third: marriage.

I wanted to at least mention the book in this post because Valentine’s Day is coming up, and I think this could be a terrific Valentine’s Day gift for a friend or loved one who is struggling in a marriage relationship and is wondering whether or not to end it. It’s the true story of how Alisa went from wishful thinking of planning her husband’s funeral (the relationship felt so bad to her, she was wishing that her husband would drop dead), to the joyful renewal of the feelings they had for one another at the beginning, when they fell in love and decided to get married in the first place. It’s a story full of hope, and one I’d like to share my thoughts about in a post in the very near future. With V-Day just a few short days away, however, I thought I would bring up the book now, so that if you are interested, you can go and check the website out, or go straight to your local bookseller or here on Amazon.com and get a copy. If you or someone you know is in need of information on how to save a marriage, or needs to figure out whether his or her marriage can be saved, this book is definitely worth checking out! In fact, I would venture to say that even if you have a great marriage, this book provides information on how to keep it that way.

Okay. That’s it for now. More soon, I hope. I also hope you all are well and enjoying February in your neck of the woods.

Yours,

Paris Karin

(an alien parisienne)

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62 thoughts on “Back to the Blog and Project: Happily Ever After – a Preview to a Review

  1. Hey Karin….I saw the pic on Virginia’s site just today and thought it was such a lovely picture of you….

    anyway as one of your “loyal” followers I have to say I’m concerned about this cryptic personal problem…I think by mentioning it at all we can’t help but wonder..oh my ..what could it be…nothing with your kids I hope ..anyway I trust that you are handling it the best you can and it’s really none of our business…but “we” worry..:)

    I have to admire the real bloggers out there who can post everyday or at least once a week and like MJ always hit the ball out of the park..make me laugh at least…and I completely understand how it can be almost a burden….l haven’t even finished up my latest week in Paris and that was 5 months ago…sometimes you just don’t feel like you have anything to say….

    so hang in there kid…glad your computer problems are solved for now…just know we are out here …lurking…but I for one can handle whatever pace you set for yourself….

    bonne journee mon amie.

    • Hi Deb!

      Finally. Made it here today to comment back to you and others. 🙂

      Let me set your mind at ease a little and let you know it is not the kids. All is okay on that front. Or, well, all is the same on that front! The other thing I should have mentioned in the post is that post-events, things are now in a MUCH better place in large part because of the things that happened. There is an “all’s well that ends well” to the story, or, as I have been thinking and writing, “all’s well that continues well.”

      Oh man, I know what you mean about the truly remarkable bloggers (like MJ) who week after week manage to post with not only regularity but also wit and insight and creativity. It is incredible. But hey, Deb, let’s not sell ourselves short, eh? When the muse hits, she hits, and we don’t always have control over it. (Although there was that one movie — saw it recently here on our Freebox Home Video channel. It was called The Muse and was by Albert Brooks with Sharon Stone as a Greek Muse. She just had to meet with a writer and he had to buy her jewelry from Tiffany’s and she would help get the writing going. There was a funny twist in the film, too. I don’t think I could afford her, lol. I have some other ideas, though, about how to perhaps get some help with getting things going. We’ll see! I don’t think it involves buying things at Tiffany’s either, ha!)

      I will hang in there, Deb. Thank you. And thanks for coming here so faithfully when I do post. It is much appreciated!

  2. Hi Karin, nice to read you again!

    I’m not really one of your ‘loyal following’, only having discovered your blog late last year, but I did meet you once and you’re a lovely lass, so I wish you well in all your doings, honestly 😀

    What I can comment on, though, is your what-to-blog problem. I don’t think I’m exaggerating to say I’m a serial blogger, and may have left the real world behind quite a while ago I’m afraid, which is not good, in fact.

    But that issue aside, if you feel you do want to blog, yes, I think it does have to have some sort of aim, but in the end you have to decide what your blog is about, if it’s going to be more than an occasional, aimless ramble, and then stick to producing regular, on-message content, as it were, or it’ll never get anywhere.

    A blog can be an occasional, aimless ramble if you want it to be – there’s no judgement in that expression – it can be absolutely anything you want it to be… but it doesn’t sound to me like you would be quite satisfied with that. Of course you can have more than one blog – this is the serial Paris blogger typing here, I know what I’m talking about! What about one for totally personal stuff and another for some project or other you want to progress with, writing, say?

    The danger is, and this is from a great deal of bitter and continuing experience, you don’t clearly define your blog’s raison d’être, as well as who you are actually writing for, which leaves everyone confused and dissatisfied, including the blogger.

    In the end, we are writing to be read, and people like to know what they are going to encounter on such and such a blog, and if they like it they should return regularly. Someone following a tennis blog wouldn’t be too impressed if suddenly every other article was about golf. And although the bloggers personality is vital, is it enough for that to be the only thing which holds the blog together and gives it direction; the fact that all the postings are written by the same person? I don’t think so. The blogs I like have a clear theme, even if it’s just someone’s expat story, but at least every posting will have a funny story or anecdote or new French phrase to learn or will be the story of their dog’s culture shock or a relentless hunting down and testing of every macaron-seller in the capital – whatever! It doesn’t matter, but that’s what I like.

    I read somewhere today that a blog’s success rests on three pillars: the amount of trafic it gets; the perceived or real authority of the author on their chosen subject; and the amount of confidence or in the case of a personal blog intimacy which has been established between the blogger and their audience. That’s more for a blog which aims to make money I guess, but it’s still a good thing to bear in mind I reckon. I look forward to seeing how you develop your blog and the direction it takes. And sorry for taking up so much space – oops 😮 Happy blogging.

    • Hey Sab!

      Thanks for taking the time to read and comment! I can see that Paris If You Please Meet Ups are doing very well these days from the messages I have gotten regarding events. Cool! And as for the length of the comment: I love it. One thing I enjoy about the people who visit here is the dialogue that happens in the comments. I’ve always encouraged that, and you came through.

      You bring up some really interesting ideas in your comments. As someone who has had a Blogger account since 2003 and who has been posting fairly regularly to one blog incarnation or another since December of 2005 (after writing one post to one blog in 2004, I think it was), I’m pretty familiar with a lot of what you are writing, and what you write about is really true if in fact one hopes for something to come of a blog.

      if it’s going to be more than an occasional, aimless ramble, and then stick to producing regular, on-message content, as it were, or it’ll never get anywhere.

      The funny thing is, ever since I wrote my first official blog post sometime in 2004, my posts have all been occasional, aimless rambles, lol. I am definitely more of the Kerouac stream-of-consciousness ilk in my writing. I was just reading on Wikipedia and Open Library (’cause I am easily distracted that way) about how Kerouac “Typed out [the novel On The Road]as one long, single-spaced paragraph on eight long sheets of tracing paper that he later taped together to form a 120 foot scroll.” Woot! Love that.

      I think my fundamental philosophy of life, the universe, and everything is not really to “get anywhere” with it, but to see where it goes. Reminds me of a metaphor I have about life & something I have been meaning to write about for a couple of years now about the difference between people who are goal-oriented and those who are not so much. You might guess which camp I am in. 😉

      But, I have to say one thing, you did make me realize that I have indeed had some hopes and dreams for this blog, I had some a priori assumptions when I started it, and in fact, one of the issues that I am having with this blog 18 months into it is that I met those goals. I did it. It’s accomplished. Done. Finito. So you are absolutely spot on in understanding that I need to figure out what I want for it next, because I think I achieved my purposes for it. I think that’s what happened in my December blog. In fact, I know that is one thing I could blog about here.

      I think we do have a fundamental difference with this, though:

      And although the bloggers personality is vital, is it enough for that to be the only thing which holds the blog together and gives it direction; the fact that all the postings are written by the same person? I don’t think so.

      Well, I do think so! Haha! 🙂 Yeah, maybe this is where it comes down to male/female brain differences or just simple taste differences, but if I read stuff by someone who I just happen to like a lot, I like the person’s voice, or way of expressing life, I really don’t care what that person is writing about. Take, for example, early blogger Mimi Smartypants, who is still going strong at http://mimismartypants.com/. I have only and always read her stuff because her voice is hilarious. I cannot tell you what on earth her blog is about — it’s really about a lot of nothing most times, kind of like the show Seinfeld, but it is so f*cking hilarious I chortle out loud every time I read! I 100% read her blog *just* because of her personality, and I love the way she goes about expressing herself. It’s a blog which opens us up to the thoughts in Mimi’s head, and most of the time I read, I am thinking to myself, “Would you get OUT of my head?!?” She taps into what most of us think but would not dare to express.

      I think you nailed the difference between this and other blogs, though, with this: “That’s more for a blog which aims to make money…”

      Yeah, I would be a big, fat liar if I wrote that it never crossed my mind that my writing here could somehow turn into some way I could make a buck (or euro). But it has not ever been my reason for starting this blog. I have not wanted it to turn into a commercial venture, not really. I don’t want this space to be one that is appropriated for commercial purposes. Yeah, if it leads to writing gigs, okay. I’d be happy with that. But turn this blog into a “venture”? That’s really not my intent or style. I’m here to make friends with people. 🙂 To get out of my shell. To give me a purpose for getting out and doing stuff in Paris…

      Oh man — as I am typing this comment I am totally composing a post in my head about reiterating why is was that I started this blog in the first place, and how it is that I feel I accomplished what I set out to do with it! I totally need to write about this. *ahem* After I get the book review done.

      Thanks, Sab. While I think that I probably totally contradict what it is that you wrote about in your comments, it has seriously led to my figuring a few things out about why it is that I am here, and that clarification is exciting to me, and invaluable. Thanks!

  3. Hi Karin. I just want to say I totally get it. So much so, I will write you a private message 🙂
    Glad to see you back to blogging, but always do what you need to do. If coming back is the right decision – hooray! If you decide down the road it’s just not working, then you take care of yourself. See you in the cyber ‘hood – or real ‘hood – soon.

    • Sion,

      You are a gem. Thank you for the private message. 🙂

      I *will* take care of myself first — wise advice not only in blogging matters, but life ones!

      See you in the real ‘hood, um, tomorrow! Yay! I’m glad this post has led to a real connection. 🙂

  4. Karin: Good to see that you’re back in the blogging saddle. I am sorry that you are going through a difficult time but you know, I’m also glad that you know the boundaries between what you could share online and what’s better left unsaid. Personally I think too many people way overshare online to the detriment of both those who are close to them, and to the rest of us for whom such matters are rarely interesting or enlightening. Keep your chin up and remember your first duty is to yourself, not to your readers.

    • Anne, what a lovely comment! It is so encouraging to know that I am making a good decision in walking that thin line between sharing just enough but not too much. Your comment reminded me of that poster that’s so popular right now: Keep Calm, and Carry On. You know which one I mean?

      I will keep my chin up, especially with encouraging people like you spurring me on. It was terrific to get to see you at Virginia’s gathering, and I hope that we can see one another again soon.

  5. Nice to read from you again Karin 😀

    • Hello, Dee Bee. 🙂 It has been a while, no? Okay, I’m opening your blog up in a tab now, too, so that I can see what’s new at your place as well. When I finish here, I will check things out there. I hope that work on a new site is coming along, and I hope you are having a good time doing your research and writing.

      Take care, Dee Bee!

  6. Kate Boyington

    Please don’t give up. So many people are having the top 10 worst days of their lives. As I am writing this I can think of 3. They need to know how to go on and where to find hope. With you blog you have the perfect platform to let them know. It is so hard to get back up when life knocks you down. The devastation is so hard to put aside so you can walk again. There is a place to find hope and your readers need to know. We all love you and are cheering for you.

    • My dear friend, Kate. I am so glad that you not only read, but also took the time to comment. It is so true that there is someone, somewhere experiencing one of their Top 10 Worst Days. I did in January, but here I am. You’re right, it is important for folks to know that while shit may happen, it is possible to get back up on that horse and ride, something I know you know about literally as well as metaphorically. 🙂

      Thank you for the love, and thank you for the food for thought, too. As I read and respond to each comment, already I can feel the mulling of thoughts that are pulling me towards the writing, towards the emergence of a direction here. Thank you.

      Love back,
      Karin

  7. Lauri

    Karin Darling, I’m happy to see you blogging again. 🙂

    • Lauri, Dear, I’m happy I am, too. 🙂 And here’s to 2011 being the Year Lauri Visits so that Karin can blog about at least that, lol. 😉

  8. Without going into detail, “We knew it was something that would eventually arrive. With “overclocking” errors and difficult computer start-ups for months, it was inevitable that it would occur. I guess we are lucky that there was no actual fire, something I hear can happen! We lost all our stuff on the C: drive, but good news is that the most important things to me were backed up in other places. Sure, there are some things that were lost, but nothing truly irreplaceable” could have also covered personal problems.

    I think that just giving up would be running away from a good (read – theroputic) thing, I think “had a bad month, let’s pick up from here, ’nuff said” would do.

    What is Lady Grey? A danty Earl Grey??

    S’funny about the photo, I actually noticed Paul first and then looked around for you. for a room full of bloggers, it was Paul who looked like he was posing for a book jacket.

    Looking forward to seeing your critical eye. Paul has done the review thing and you can see the creative process it takes to not just tell what a thing is, but to explain why it is or is not relevent.

    So, that’s it? {{ sigh }} Ok, first blog after a rough month, been a while, need to get back in the groove, will provide “meat and potatoes” soon….Glad to see you back. I missed you

    • Hi Ken!

      As always, thank you for your input and insights. 🙂

      Yup. Lots of parallels between the computer meltdown and the life one, heh! I had not really seen that until you mentioned it, but it is true. 🙂

      Paul cracks me up with that Book Jacket Pose, and you are correct! There are photos around here of him about 12 years ago, posing for a book jacket, and it looks a lot like that pose. With a slightly slimmer and younger Paul.

      So. Onward. Only forward! I will see what coming back here brings to the table. Meat and potatoes? Hmmmm. Not sure. But maybe at least a gluten-free snack! 😉

      Hang in there, Ken!

      • P.S. Lady Grey is the same as Earl Grey, black tea flavored with bergamot, a kind of lime-like fruit, with the addition of other “agrûmes,” which is a fancy Frenchie word for “citrus.” Basically meaning lemon and orange peel. It is gooooood. I like it a lot! Making a cup now, in fact.

  9. Hey all!!

    You are not gonna believe this, but the computer stopped working this morning!!! ARGH!!!!!!!

    I hope some of you come back and see this. 🙂 Thank you so much for the comments here & I will reply to each one soon. I managed to get the borrowed laptop working this morning. We’d not been able to get an internet connection with it since repairing the desktop. So, I unplugged the Freebox receiver, let it sit for 15 seconds, and then plugged it back in, et voilà! Internet again. Little trick I learned from a network admin a long time ago. “Unplug, wait, and then plug back in.” You’d be surprised how many problems that fixes.

    Anyway, I’m frustrated, but not knocked down. I am out and about most of today, so it will be later on this evening, Paris time, by the time I get to come back here and reply. I hope those of you Stateside are getting a good night’s rest, and those of you reading from time zones closer to mine, I will be back with you soon.

    Take care & thank you again for reading! 🙂

    Karin
    (an alien parisienne)

  10. I’m glad you’re not giving up! You have too much umph and resolve to let the blog go dormant. Besides, where else can we find witty commentary and photos like the “asserie”?? =)

    • Hi Lindsey! Well, since you are someone who has plenty of umph and resolve, I will trust that it takes one to know one! 😉 Thank you.

      I just laughed out loud at the “asserie” again re-reading your comment. 😀 If you don’t laugh, you’re gonna cry, eh?

      Thank you for the support, chica.

  11. Oh ! I adore your blog !

    • Merci Beaucoup, Mlle Jolie! And your blog is beautiful! I checked it out when I got your comment, and oh lala! So pretty. 🙂

      Thank you for visiting. I hope to see you again (which is yet more incentive to write, lol).

  12. Weltha

    I need to start following your blog–and I’m so sorry you’ve had a rough January (I can guess about the problems but won’t…specially here in public…) BUT I am delighted that you are contemplating 3rd foray into matrimony and you know that you have nothing but my hopes and wishes for the best and for your happiness! And yes, I’m glad to see you blogging again–okay, computer. Behave and get with it. I still have the happiest memories of hanging out with you, and here at work, I have the darling teapot with the cup on the bottom and the picture of the cat on the side. It is way too adorable, and it always makes me think of you, creme cake, Nutella, and current jelly. And Rose tea…and talking, talking, talking.

    Weltha

    • Hi Weltha!

      You know, the coolest thing about this blog is that so far in the comments, I have this lovely blend of people I have known for years (including you), people I have met in real life because of this blog or because of a blog in my past, and people whom I have never met face to face, but who have found a comfortable place to pass time here in this place. It’s just terrific, and is the thing I recognize I love the most about blogging! Thank you for being a reminder of all that is good in my life by commenting here: my relationships with others. I love you, Weltha. 🙂

      Ahhhh, that’s right! You have the cat cup/teapot. 🙂 I am so happy knowing that you still use it!

      So far, so good on the computer right now, too. I also got my own external hard drive working as a backup. Now I just have to take the time to load it up!!

      Oh such good things you remind me of, and keep me connected to. I guess that is what old friends are for. (Old in terms of how long we have known the person, lol, not a comment on aging!) I’m excited about your blog, too, and will keep checking in on your progress as I am able.

      Take care, Weltha.

      Oh, P.S.: Have you seen The King’s Speech yet?! I just did last night and TOTALLY thought of you when watching Churchill in the movie! You will LOVE it if you have not seen it, yet. GO. Jennifer Ehle is in it, too!

  13. Karin — well, you know how I feel about the whole thing. Whenever you write, we’re here to read (and will be happy to do so). I just sent you an email so I won’t re-state it all here, but I hope you’re doing all right!

    • Hullo there, MJ. 🙂 Yup. I do know how you feel about the whole thing. Thank you for keeping it real here, and thank you for the emails, too. I am doing all right as of now. Very much so. More blog fodder, methinks! 🙂

      Hope you guys are all staying healthy there in your ‘hood. Hope we can connect again soon.

  14. Hi Karin! Sorry to hear that you’ve had a lousy beginning to the new year but I’m glad you’re getting back in the saddle. I totally understand your ambivalence about blogging, especially because I’ve just started mine and have done a lot of thinking about what I want to share and what I want to keep private. In fact I played around with the blog thing for a few months last year before I finally committed to it last month (of course right now I’m in a holding pattern since I haven’t actually made the move so I don’t even feel like I really have a blog yet).

    I started my blog because I’ve been inspired by you and the other Paris bloggers I’m reading, and to be perfectly honest, I wanted to be able to meet up with you all. I’m probably feeling nervous about making new friends because I’m saying goodbye to some very good friends here. And I have a lot better things to do right now than worry about my social life but that’s where my mind goes!

    Anyway, enough about me – this is a comment, not a post on my blog 😉 Good thoughts coming your way, and if it doesn’t sound too trite – this too shall pass. Sometimes we encounter roadblocks and we have to take some time to find our path around them.

    BTW – We just started watching Battlestar Galactica – so we have something else in common!

    • Hi Susan!

      It is so true that when just starting a blog, it is important to at least think about what one will keep private versus not! In fact, when I first started this blog, I had the intention of using nicknames and being a lot more “anonymous.” I found as I got going it was just not “me” to do that. Sure, there is sometimes fallout, but on the other hand, I have found great rewards in relationships with other people by keeping it real. Yeah, I could keep a blog all about blogging, I think – a meta blog, haha!

      I think starting a blog with the intent of connecting with others and wanting to meet them is a *great* idea! I used to kind of feel that way with David Lebovitz, hahaha! Yeah, not so much anymore because I have found plenty of other more accessible friendships here. But it is a very legitimate way to connect with other expats, I have found. I know you will, too, and in all seriousness, please send a note when you are going to be here and we’ll meet up for a coffee. For sure!

      No worries about posting blogs in the comments. I do it ALL the time, and they are very welcome here! Probably others may not be so into them, but I totally am. Go for it.

      Not too trite at all to say “this too shall pass.” I think it is what my friend was getting at up there in her comment, too — how valuable to be here and not give up and be able to say, “Yeah, I had this really shitty time, but here I am, perhaps limping along, but still standing.” You know, I never realized it, but “shit” is an anagram of “this.” So we could just as well say, “shit, too, will pass.”

      Yeah, we had a kind of life Metamucil experience. I love Paul’s comment down there, though. It’s true. 🙂

      Yay!!! A fellow BSG fan! Ummmm, I hope you are watching it and LIKING it, lol. 😉 There is a part of me that really is something of a sci-fi geek. 🙂 Frak. Haha!

      I’m checking in on your blog in a moment, Susan. Be well & good luck with all you have to do!

      • The anagram is so funny – can’t believe I never noticed it before. I’m trying to adopt “frak” because I have a terminal swearing habit that I’m trying to curb.

        I just did a new post just now – I’m trying not to be a lazy blogger but there isn’t that much to say right now – we’re just in “move limbo”.

        I’d love to get together after we arrive. I’ll definitely get in touch with you!

  15. Amy

    How hard not to write about a top-10-worst event when usually writing helps most. I hope you’re writing elsewhere to work through whatever it is in the way that works best for most writers. Sending good thoughts your way.

    • Hi there, Amy. 🙂

      Yeah. You know me well! Seeing as you have been reading me for a long while now, and lived through some experiences with me that were some of the other 9 experiences, lol, you know. I have been able to write a little with good old pen and paper. And I may find another place to do it, too. I don’t know what it is about writing, and especially blogging that is therapeutic, but I think it probably has something to do with finding one’s voice. Becoming empowered. That kind of thing.

      I know you know all about this kind of sitch, my friend. Too well. I’m glad you can understand.

      Hope that wee girlie of yours is growing well and staying healthy. Man, I gotta check in with you in your secret hidey bloggy place! 🙂 I hope I can remember my password, lol. Hmmmm, maybe that is an underutilized place for me, too. Hmmmmm. Must think about that!

      Take care.

  16. LOL @ Ken and how I look as though I’m posing for a book jacket cover.

    I agree with the rest of the loyal following about how nice it is to read you again. As for the month of January…some of the most beautiful flowers grow from soil fertilized with shit.

    • I know, dear Paul, isn’t that funny?! And TRUE! I keep thinking about that old photo of you in the jeans and the vest, where you look like you are leaning on the Eiffel Tower. Lord, that pose cracks me up!

      I’m glad you came to read, too, and like Carole says down there, let’s print up the bumper stickers and t-shirts with the saying there! 🙂

      xoxo
      Karin

  17. I loved your email, it was typical Karin, long…and fantastic! You know blogging is an evolution, your blog should grow with you as you grow, change, adapt, evolve, it is not a static item, but a living breathing canvas that changes as you change. When I look back at what I blogged about two years ago and now I hardly recognize myself. I am in a space where I want to change it up again, that is not atypical to my personality that require constant change. What I do believe as that no matter how much we change, how little or frequent we blog, or email, or meet in person – good people will find similar good people. Fair-weather fans will come and go, but those who are really interested in you, Karin, will stick around. When I first started blogging I went a blogging conference and one of the first sessions I went to had a speaker/blogger who said something that had a profound effect on me and has continued to stick with me: You own your blog, you OWN it. How you write, your rhythm, your topics, your design – its you and you OWN it, no one else!

    Welcome back and I look forward for the next part of the ride with you!

    • Hi Andi!

      I am glad that you liked the email, and wow. WOW. What an awesome comment to really make me feel empowered and self-assured that I have something important to say and share, and to find that connection with other people by expressing myself creatively. I love how you write that this place, as an artistic, expressive place, is like a canvas that changes as I change. It’s so true: I don’t expect others to be static and I accept it happening with others. And how true what you say: there are those that I will find that will always “stick.” I said as much to my friend Weltha up there. And Michelle down below quoted Dr Seuss’s version. 🙂

      Thank you for the reinforcement of this:

      You own your blog, you OWN it. How you write, your rhythm, your topics, your design – its you and you OWN it, no one else!

      I just saw The King’s Speech last night, and was thinking about what his speech therapist Lionel Logue said about the king needing to find his own voice. Now I am also thinking about that great scene in Dead Poets Society where Professor Keating quotes Walt Whitman’s poem “O me! O life!” and says:

      “That you are here–that life exists, and identity;
      That the powerful play goes on, and you will contribute a verse”

      and then asks his students, “What will your verse be?”

      Sion up there wrote me something that made me think of that scene the other day, too. Maybe it is time to re-watch that movie. 🙂 And perhaps write about it!

      Thank you so much, Andi, for all the encouragement you have given me this past year in helping me share my voice with others. It has really made a difference to me and to my sense of self and well-being. This comment included. 🙂

      • That is what friends are for. People seem to discount the people that you meet online as friends, they are somehow afraid to label them as such because it is not a physical relationship. But I always think back to a chapter from Chris Brogan’s Trust Agents that talks about how we are likely to tell our online friends more intimate details about our life or how we feels than we would with most of our IRL friends. I believe it! I consider you a friend, and friends encourage and support friends.

      • Yup, there is a tendency on the part of people who do not blog to be dismissive of online relationships, but I really agree with the Borgan book you mention there (gotta look that one up!); in my experience, we really DO share more with online friends than the RL ones. I now have the good fortune of having the combination of the two: online friends that became RL ones, and IRL ones that have stuck with me in the online world, too. I also believe OLFs are just as much Real as the face-to-face friends we have, maybe more so. 🙂

        Thank you for thinking of me as a friend. The feeling is mutual, Andi. 🙂

  18. Paul is so right about the fertilzed soil…

    Keep smiling and blogging!

    (I agree that it’s frustrating to be disconnected from the net and it happened to me rather frequently a month ago. Finally my provider came home, changed some cables and all the equipment, free of charge, and since then it works perfectly – touch wood!)

    • Hi Peter!

      Paul is often right about many things, and is one reason I appreciate him so. 🙂

      Thank you for stopping by to commiserate with computer issues! I’m glad to read yours got solved. Seems ours finally have gotten sorted out, too! As you said, “knock on wood.”

      Take care, Peter. I hope your blogging endeavors have been going well! I will be by later to check things out. It was so good to see you at Virginia’s gathering, too, and I hope that we can connect again soon, as I said to you that evening.

      Bye for now.

  19. Michelle

    My good friend Dr. Seuss once said:

    “Be Who You Are and Say What You Feel Because Those Who Mind Don’t Matter and Those Who Matter Don’t Mind.”

    So yeah, do that. 🙂

    • The good old Doctor often has a prescription to cure what ails, doesn’t he. 🙂 Thank you for stopping by to remind me about what’s important, Michelle.

      I will. 🙂
      Thanks, hermana.
      Hasta la pasta!

  20. Hello everyone!

    I had the best of intentions to sit down today and craft replies to each of you, but I didn’t! I got busy replying to emails. It’s now evening & I’ll be going offline for the day, but just wanted to pop in and say “hi” in the event that folks were coming back to visit to see if I’d made my usual re-comments. Not yet. BUT, good news is that on Friday evening, our neighbor repaired the computer again. This time, a bum secondary/backup hard drive was inhibiting the start up process. Removal of the bad drive got everything up and running again. Yay!!

    So, à bientôt. I have appreciated every comment thus far & shall return to say how much very soon.

    Karin

  21. Carole

    “some of the most beautiful flowers grow from soil fertilized with shit” Now that would make a bumper sticker!

    I’m behind you whatever you decide to do. Only I hope you decide to keep blogging so I can keep reading and processing what you wrote! Your posts provoke more thoughts than I am able to respond to properly.

    Happy Valentine’s Day to you and your loved ones.

  22. Carole

    Oops! Should have been: that would make a good bumper sticker!

    • Carole,

      Thank you, my dear. A good bumper sticker, indeed! And you know what? It’s very, very satisfying to know that my posts provoke thought. I will add that to my growing list of things I had intended for this blog that I did not know I was intending, but am really pleased to know that I am doing (lol).

      I think there is a HUGE chunk of me that cannot imagine *not* blogging, and ergo a post like this one! So I am pretty sure I will work my way in and through this current blip and find something to keep me going with it. I hope so. There has been a lot of good that has been accomplished here. Like meeting great people for example! I have made some wonderful connections with others, just like I have been commenting to other people here. I am so grateful for that, especially in this past month. It was nice to know I am not so Alien after all. 🙂

      Take care, chica.

  23. Hi Karin — good to see your posts, especially after what sounds like a major roller coaster of emotions and experiences. I LOVE what Andi passed on about owning one’s blog – what great advice for all of us. I too have just come up for air after an unplanned ‘break’ — and loved catching up on all your posts, includine the one about your busy November/December and our great tour with you. You know I think you have an amazing, intelligent, and unique voice, so I’m one of your many fans who looks forward to your writing, however or wherever you choose to publish it.

    Hang in there and good luck with everything. Loved the group photo of you and Paul with the gang, too!

    Cheers.

    • Wasn’t Andi’s comment so very cool? And yeah! You have totally been through this kind of a roller coaster, so I know you totally get it. Thank you, too, for the wonderful compliment about my voice. I know that I have the ability to write with voice, and I need to keep hold of that as I pass through this transition, or re-imagining — whatever it is. It’s something I value, and thank you for valuing it, too. 🙂 Man, it was cool to meet you and Clive, and I am very grateful blogging has opened up opportunities like that. I’m glad you saw the one where I mention meeting you. 🙂

      (TBC)

  24. P.S. Also meant to share a post I wrote a while ago about what I call — for lack of a better term — the ‘privacy/truth spectrum’ — I think blogging in particular causes many of us to think really hard about where the right balance is.

    In case it might be of interest — ‘Control Is An Illusion, Part 2: Privacy and Truth’

    Cheers again and take care.

  25. Sorry – the link (PLEASE feel free to edit all these comments into one!)
    http://mysydneyparislife.wordpress.com/2009/01/17/control-is-an-illusion-part-2-privacy-and-truth/

    • Not a problem to leave multiple comments like this, lol! I was kind of too lazy to change it/edit it, and I also kind of just liked them the way they are. 🙂 I will go and read the link ASAP for I am very curious about your thoughts on this. I really love your honesty and insights in writing, too.

      Thank you, Carolyn! Hello to Clive, too, and I will look forward to catching up with your goings on, too. Be well.

  26. Okay — I think I responded to everybody. I’ve scrolled up and down three times to be sure I have. If I left you out, it was NOT on purpose!! Please alert me if I spaced you out! 🙂

  27. Maria O. Russell

    Miss Karin, Your blog is a gem and you look bright and beautiful like the North Star. Please don’t give up. Greetings from Texas!

    • Hello Miss Maria! Sorry I was so lame-o and took several days to acknowledge your comment! Paul and I had his mom visiting, and I was offline a lot of the time she was here. I had access to the computer, but I find it hard to think when there are lots of other people around doing things. I’m used to peace and quiet for computer stuff. 🙂

      Thank you for your kind words. Very kind words. 🙂 The good news is that stepping back for a while has allowed some ideas about what I’d like to do here start to come up! I’m thinking, percolating, and I think I am coming up with something good. Stay tuned.

      A hello to Texas from me, too. I spent 10 months in North Dallas, just at the border of Plano. It’s one thing I can check off my on my life’s list of things I have done: lived in Texas. 🙂

      Take care & see you again soon, Maria.

      • Oh jeebus. I just noticed it was, like, nine days before I responded. YIKES. Well, Maria, I hope you come back and see this, ha!

  28. Salut Karin,
    I popped over to say hello to you again! I’m so sorry to hear that your experiencing a moment where you aren’t feeling your blogging-best and personally things aren’t going well for you. I hope that things are looking up for you now! Take comfort in the fact that you have a very loyal blog following and that they’re all here to support you. Take a break if you need it; we’ll all still be here. If not, we all admire your persistence 🙂
    Bisous,
    Brittany.

    • Thank you, sweet Brittany. Yeah, it’s been a rough start to the new year. Then again, with such a rough start, things can only look up for the *rest* of the year, eh? So there’s a little silver lining. Taking a break is really helping, like I wrote to Maria up there. I’m starting to form some new ideas! I have some time this week to work on them, so hopefully I will be in a place that allows me to get something started. I need a little more time to organize my thoughts, and think a little more on if I can work with what I’m thinking of.

      Anyway, thank you for coming by again, and just as I apologized for a slow response to Maria, I will do it for you, too. Sorry for the delay! I hope it is better late than never. Be well, Brittany, and happy baking to you!

  29. You couldn’t say it was a Freudian slip, but it’s really quite funny.

    • Ahhh, Olga. You are too sharp of a mind for me. I’m a bit slow on the uptake with the Freudian slip. Did I make one?!?

      All I can think of is that line, “Mardon me Padam, but your slip is showing.” You knowwww, a twist on the spoonerism?

      LOL.

      So, anyway, little old slow me would love to be enlightened as to the slip factor of which you write. 😉

      Ohhhh, wait. You mean, the “asserie”? Of course! Hahahahaha! Okay. I figured it out. Takes me a second, but I can usually get there. I was somehow wondering if I outed myself on the information I was trying to avoid writing about in the post. Gack. That *would* have been kind of funny. Mostly horrible. But you know, funny in an ass-backwards kind of way. Heh!

      Have a good one, Olga! 🙂

  30. I hope you work it out. Either way, I have appreciated the time and energy and passion you put into your blog and those who read it. That would be me included. Bon chance. Bon courage. And, as my Brit husband would say, “Keep your pecker up!” (Slight variation on keep your chin up.) Sorry but that one never fails to make me smile.

    • Hey Betsy! I love the “keep your pecker up!” expression! 😀 I think you have had to use that one with me here once before, lol. It’s (the pecker, lol) wavering still, slightly, but I also think that life has been providing some nice Viagra (lol) for inspiration, and maybe I will be back into loving this blog again soon. My food intolerances have been really bad again, too, and while it could be very cathartic to write about those things, somehow I don’t want this place to turn into Whinging Central. I have too much of the idea that “if you don’t have anything nice to say, then don’t say anything at all” echoing in my consciousness to inflict too much woe into my words here.

      But self-expression in writing *is* a part of who I am. I know you totally get that!! So sooner or later, something will need to come out here, more than likely.

      Thank you for your kind words about the blog & for the encouragement, too!

  31. This reminds me of when we had a visitor recently from the US in England. There are many signs that read ‘TO LET’. Our guest thought the ‘i’ had fallen off for ‘toilet’. Great pic

    • LOL!! That’s funny! It took me a little while to figure out that “to let” meant “to rent” in American English back in 1984, when I lived in the UK for a short time. But I never thought about its being “toilet” minus the “i.” 😀 Good one.

      Glad you liked the pic. Thanks for stopping by, Laura!

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