Tag Archives: a reason to write

p.u.b.l.i.s.h.e.d…………………

This is a big milestone for me as a writer – not just a blogger pretending to be a writer – but an actual published writer.

Expat Blog selected one of my articles to p.u.b.l.i.s.h.

You can read it here:
http://www.expat-blog.com/en/guide/asia/india/718-sometimes-it-is-just-hard.html

This is a reprint of “where he draws the line” from my own blog. But it was p.u.b.l.i.s.h.e.d. on another site. Yippee for me! I made some revisions before I sent it to them in final form, so you might notice some slight changes – most likely, you won’t notice anything different about it. 😉

Okay, I have now taken off my bragging hat – sorry to bring you into the self-patting-on-the-back excitement.

Let Freedom Ring…………..

This weekend my niece turned one. Her party was in Philadelphia. Off we go.

It was a great party – she is (of course) the most adorable little one year old and as sweet as can be.

I figured if we were going to be near Philadelphia, we might as well go thru the city and soak in some history. Enter moans and groans from my kids. But, too bad, I am the one with the drivers license and I have always wanted to see the Liberty Bell. So we started off at the Liberty Bell Museum. Because it would make perfect sense that the Liberty Bell Museum would house the Liberty Bell. Don’t you think? Yeah, not so much.

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It was a good thing though because that museum closed at 5pm and, for some reason, when you show up at 4:55ish, they aren’t exactly pushing tickets your way. We did see a lovely replica of the Liberty Bell and took a picture of it just in case the real Liberty Bell building closed at 5pm too. (The picture of the Liberty Bell above is the real deal. Luckily, that building closed at 7pm. Whew.)

I have always been a big fat patriotic dork and love this country. I am so proud of all we have accomplished and how we learn from our mistakes. I know we are not perfect – but I think we are as good as it gets. There’s no two ways about it – I heart America.

But I had more selfish reasons for wanting to see the Liberty Bell.

In 1976, the U.S. Mint printed a commemorative quarter in honor of the 200th birthday of the U.S. of A. On one side was a picture of the Liberty Bell – crack and all. When I was younger, my father had a bicentennial quarter collection. Every time he got change, he sifted through looking for the special quarters. If I found one, I would save it to give to him. He kept them in a very cool bank that was a clear cube with a Liberty Bell statue inside. When you put a quarter in the bank, it clinked and clicked against the bell. Good times!

I, on the flip of the coin, had a pinball habit.

Do you see where this is going? Yes, that was back in the day when a pinball machine was still entertaining and cost exactly 1 quarter for 1 game.

I stole borrowed some quarters from my Dad’s collection to play pinball at the local youth club. Yeah, I know. Brilliant. (You probably guessed that I did not exactly ask permission first. Clearly not the best approach. Ooops!)

Every Friday night the high schoolers had a dance at the youth club. Every Saturday night the middle schoolers had a dance.

My Dad knew there were exactly two suspects in the case of the missing quarters. My brother or the girl with the blisters on her thumbs and overuse injuries in her fingers. He told us that neither one of us would be allowed to attend the dances until someone fessed up. Smart that guy – no blaming – just giving us both the same opportunity to come clean with consequences for the other if we did not.

My brother was older – so his night was coming up fast. I had decisions to make. Disappoint my Dad or shortchange my brother. AUGH. I would like to believe that I confessed my crimes before Friday night and my brother was able to go to his dance. I believe I did. I don’t think my criminal streak ran deep enough to keep him from his night with friends.

Anyquarter, fast forward many years later. I now have that bank full of quarters. My Dad gave it to me. It was more significant even than the time when he passed me the car keys. Because along with that bank came his re-established trust that I would not waste the quarters away on pinball games and other foolishness.

Even now when I get change, I look for bicentennial quarters and every once in a while I find one. They always bring a smile to my face. And that bank is in my safety deposit box. It is a real treasure. My kids also keep their eyes open for those quarters – and yes, I have confessed my sins to them in hopes they can learn early from my mistakes – we’ll see how that goes.

So, while I fully appreciate all that the Liberty Bell stands for and I embrace its history. For me, it also represents the rise and fall of a stupid teenager who loved pinball a little too much – and it represents a Dad who loved her anyway – cracks at all. It may not be what the Founding Fathers intended but it is my own little slice of history.

Pimp My Font……..

As you might recall, in a previous life I had a handmade stationery business. So, it makes perfect sense that I am always on the prowl for the perfect font. And handwriting fonts are my favorite fontalicious variety of font.

Holy font, batman – if you love fonts, I have great news for you.

There’s a young lady named Amanda and she likes to make fonts out of handwriting samples. No, dear font freak, I am not kidding. And she gives them away for, say it with me, FREE. Seriously. And, yes, I love her! And her fonts are fontfabulous. She has an entire line of “pea” fonts. If you don’t know what I mean, check her and her delicious fonts out at Kevin and Amanda’s Free fonts.

You can thank me later.

Google Me………….

As a relatively new blogger, I realize there is a lot left for me to learn about this whole “blogging” thang. I signed up to get stats via sitemeter and they just look like alphabet soup to me. If someone knows what I should do with all that info, please feel free to speak up. I still don’t know how to post a you-tube video in my actual blog, so you are left clicking on a measely link. I am about to use up all my “free” wordpress space for pictures and am about to have to upgrade and *gasp* pay for blog space. And I still have not figured out how to get paid millions of dollars for my insights and wicked sense of humor – or even $5 for that matter. Talk may be cheap, but apparently writing is free – that is unless you use up all of your free space – but I digress.

Some people blog to ultimately get published – and sure – that’d be great – but sometimes people just blog to blog. I guess I honestly fall somewhere in the middle. I want to capture all of our memories of our great Indian adventure so that I don’t forget the details – but it is also (really, really) nice to know that other people are following along. It amazes me really. I have had people tell me they grab a cup of coffee (I am sure for some of them it is doctored coffee) and sit down to read my blog every day. Wow.

One of the things “real” bloggers talk about is google page rank. So, just for giggles, I thought I would see where I rank. When I entered the key words – a reason to write – into google, I almost fell over. I did not use quotation marks. Does that matter? I do not know. But I did not use them.

Some biotch with a handmade card business called, of all things, “A Reason To Write” ranked number one – oh yeah, that’s me. And then some blogging goddess with a blog called, of all things, “A Reason To Write – India” ranked number two.

Seriously, I am not sure how that happened and it may not last. Maybe my computer remembers it’s me and is empathetic – like a well-intention parent, it doesn’t want to let me down. Hey Data on Star Trek learned to show emotions – it could happen.

How do I know that it might not last, you ask? Well, I don’t want to use up all of my 15 minutes of fame in one place – but also, my blog was linked to a CNN article on prisons for about 20 hours. I (very) excitedly wrote to my family and dear friends to tell them the amazing news – only to find that they removed the link and replaced it with more current blogs on the same topic. Bastards. So, the time difference coupled with the dreaded in-box wait time, it looked like I was a liar, liar pants on fire. And, no, I did not screen print. That would have been the “smart” thing to do – so you can clearly see why I chose NOT to do just that. I had no evidence whatsoever. DAMN, is right.

So, if by the time you read this and google search me, I am no longer ranked as number one and two, rest assured that I have a mental picture in my mind of my success. And I believe me even if no one else does.

The bottom line in all of this is thank you for following along and catapulting me to rock star google status – even if it only exists in my own mind. 😉

Roll Call…….

Not too long ago, I signed up for Sitemeter as a way to gather stats on my blog and its readership. Not that I know what to actually do with any of the info – but it’s cool to see where you are all coming from.

Sitemeter does not tell me that Suzy Q, or any specific person, is reading my blog – but it will tell me where reader “x” hails from. Here are some of the places people are coming to visit me from…..

Camarillo, California USA
Alexandria, Virginia USA
Isl*mabad, P*kistan
Rome, Italy
Alblasserdam, Zuid-Holland in the Netherlands
Moers, Nordehin-Westfalen in Germany
Daytona Beach, Florida USA (we are all coming to visit you in person)
Langhorne, Pennsylvania USA
Bristow, Virginia USA
Maple, Ontatio, Canada
Nigeria
Mexico
Jakarta, Jawa Barat in Indonesia
Casablanca, Morocco
Mount Pleasant, South Carolina USA
Brisbane, Australia
Bombay, India
Republic of Korea
Tallin, Estonia
Los Angeles, California USA
Chennai, India
New Delhi, India

And then a million other places – okay, maybe only 35,000 other places – but close enough. So what we have here is a little United Nations of the Blogsphere.

Tell me where you are coming from……………

have you hugged your mailman today…………

I hope everyone has a moment like I had yesterday – I kind of stopped in my tracks and thought “life is good”. We all take things and people for granted – it’s just human nature – we get busy and forget. It happens. But every now and then, we should just stop and take a deep, cleansing breath and be grateful for something. And something small. Something that seems insignificant but something we would miss terribly if we didn’t have it.

Enter Bob. Yesterday, it was Bob that I was grateful for – our mailman. He rocks. Seriously. He rocks.

Even without a rock star mailman, I love getting the mail. LOVE IT! and MISS it in India. All of our mail goes to my husband’s office. About every 2 weeks we get a package of mail. But just the essential stuff  – translation – bills. yippee. I don’t even get to walk to the mailbox everyday or look out the window and see if the flag is down.

Those of you who know me know that I have had a handmade stationery/invitation business called A Reason To Write. So I am all about the s.n.a.i.l. mail – and really cute mail – well that is just  a little slice of note card heaven.

Short story, very long – yesterday I went out to the mail box and there was my mailman – Bob. He had a big smile and said, “I missed seeing you last week – everything okay?” Yes indeedy! He gave me a big hug and told me how nice it was to be able to see our family. And he had a couple of lovely pieces of mail that had absolutely nothing to do with how much money I owed to other people. Yes indeedy!

P.S. I never saw mail trucks in India – how do Indian people get their mail?

Reverse………

If you remember my post on yoga, you might remember that “reverse” is one of my new favorite words. Especially today. Right now I am sitting at the airport waiting to “reverse” my journey to India. Fear not – I am coming back – but not after a little respite in the good old U.S. of A.

I am looking forward to rediscovering America and seeing everything again for the first time. I will be writing while I am home – so please keep checking in on my blog. It’s been so fun to have you along!

Also – I am not sure why – but I joined the Twitter revolution and if you want to know what I am doing every now and then – check out my tweets – @areasontowrite. Tweet tweet.

And, I know, this is the burning question – what will I have for dinner tonight?

It will be a Five Guys Cheeseburger – grilled onions, extra cheese, mayo, ketchup, and quite possibly bacon – I might even throw on a tomato just to get a little healthy action going on. It will be accompanied by a Chick-Fil-A old fashioned vanilla milkshake. I am not sure if I will add on fries. We’ll just have to see.

When the stars line up……

Many of you know, I used to own a stationery business (www.AReasonToWrite.com). Moving to India put that on hold (for now). I was (more than) a little sad to think of not being creative – but holy guacamole – I found the paper store to die for. It is called Four Seasons and it is in Jor Bagh. Rohit runs it – he is delightful. He used to live in New Jersey and he misses Dunkin Donuts. What’s not to love! I mean, he sells beautiful paper and he loves doughnuts – we were destined to meet.

Rohit tells me that Oprah’s friend Gail has shopped in his store. (Yes, I mean THAT Oprah.) Maybe I will run into her. He showed me which paper Oprah likes and I swear I almost bought him out of it. You can tell her to contact ME if she would like some more. A little handmade paper blackmail maybe not be that impressive so I will lurk in the shadows hoping to spot that BFF of hers.

So anypaper, here is a small sampling of the handmade papers I bought there…

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It turns out that the paper is made by handicapped children. Seriously, that is a little gift. Because now when I buy it, I am helping to employ handicapped children – it’s almost charity. How can you argue with that?

The stars are definitely lining up. Invitations anyone?

Drinks anyone…………

This is very cool – you can design your own drink bottle at http://www.says-it.com/.

bottle

I found this out from Hutchins Foster. Thanks Hutchins for sharing!

I came, I wrote, I got interviewed……….

The Indian Express is a newspaper and a journalist from the paper named Shoba wrote an article about expats who are blogging in India. Are you serious? Yes, I am – she included my blog in her article.

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/the-expat-blog-about-town/428894/0

Thanks again for following along on my journey!

If you want to read what the other bloggers mentioned in the article are writing about India – you can follow these links:

A Girl From Foreign – this is Jurate who comments on my blog – hi Jurate!

Paul Ancheta

American Expats in India

Our Delhi Struggle

Cindy Bajema