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My First Ask : 50 Asks Project

I endeavored to make a list of life and blog goals this year, here and here. And consequently, I was kickin’ some creative butt in the early months of this year. There was the We Are The Contributors project and the painted Rocking Chair. I took a branding course and planned my attendance to the Blog U ’14 Conference. Plus all the lovely little Instagram challenges and relationship I was creating, I was happy and happening.

vintage cigar boxes and farmer's market flowers for My First Ask on Shalavee.com

But the one goal I wrote down privately that I’ve been very keenly aware I have not even begun to achieve is my desire to increase my blog readership by 100 people by July. Now I know that people read stuff online in a myriad of ways. And the subscription number is not an accurate reflection of how many people are actually reading. But fiddle faddle, a goal is a goal. And by golly, with the power of my 50 Asks project driving me, I am ready to ask for what I need.

My First Ask is of you dear readership,

Please help me reach my goal of 100 readers by July 1st.

Share me and encourage others to read my heartfelt well intentioned blog posts.

People can unsubsribe at any time. Just not until I’ve reached 100, OK?  I had never asked for anything here until last October when, while I was putting on a month’s straight of consecutive posts, I found out I was entered into the Circle of Mom’s top 25 Mommy bloggers that blog about family life contest. Craziness. And I asked and asked for support, unsure if anyone really cared at all about me. And I ended up in like 35th place. I was more thrilled people showed up for me daily. And at one point I said, it’s all good people, you can stop voting if you want because I am just glad to know I am loved by so many. That knowledge made the stress entirely worth it to me.

Charlie Fisher-Price floats in his boat from Shalavee.com

Now I would like to increase my numbers to create an online resume of a sort. That if I am perused by someone looking to offer me a job opportunity or a future book deal because it seems that a lot of people get what I’m about, well than good for me. And when I do decide to author a book, which seems like one of those inevitabilities, then my readership will already know it’s coming. Discounted advanced sales !!

Nostalgia and #RaggedyAnn from Shalavee.com

I have an immensely hard time asking for help. Asking you to like me and friend me and follow me is excruciating. So help me make it easier to do this and show me I’ve had nothing to worry about so I’ll wonder what took me so long. Enter your email address in the sign up box to the right to receive my tri-weekly (that’s Monday, Wednesday, and Friday of every week) posts of varying inspirational and entertainment values. And ask your friends to do the same. Pretty Please with sugar on top.

If you enjoyed what you read, subscribe, via the subscription box in the sidebar, to my thrice weekly posts via your emailbox. And visit me on Instagram to see my daily pictures, friend me or like my page on Facebook. Or come find me on Twitter or Pinterest too. I am always practicing Intentional Intouchness so chat at me please. I live for conversations.

And, as always, Thanks to you for your visit.

Joining 50 Asks : Call It Rejection Not Failure

My goal for the past some odd years is to get my writing published. I’ve had a few pieces published here and there on the inter-webs. And try as I might, have failed to have anything published in the physically written word world. Counting in my head, I’d say it was less than five rejections or failed attempts. Yet, you’d think I’d been told ‘No Way Jose’ by the entire Southern Hemisphere for the fear I feel at the mere thought of asking one more person.

slide from above on 50 asks : Call It Rejection Not Failure

Yet I keep dancing back to it. I am slightly jealous of the glee I see when someone I know gets published. I talk to all the right people asking all the right questions about getting published and then I sit with the information. Sit and wait to forget it. And now I’ve attended a writing workshop and a conference to pep up my skills, knowledge, and confidence. And there’s really nowhere to go but onward.

Hi, my name is Shalagh. I have fear of success. And I’m a freelance writer.

Down the slide on 50 asks : Call It Rejection Not Failure

While reading my friends stuff ,WHAM, again my friend inspires me saying she’s joining another Instagram friend and artist, Tammie Bennett, in a challenge called 50 Asks.

Here’s the thoughts that stuck in my head. You call it failure and it’s the end. The story is done. Whereas rejection is not the end, it’s a place you move from. But what if you didn’t focus on that word because it smarts. Instead, you call your queries and submissions Asks. And you aim to collect your asks from the world through your art or work. There’s nothing negative sounding there at all. And what if you ask for what you want from the Universe and add, “Or something better” to the end. Wow. Who knows what doors you’ll see opening.

This is also a huge continuation of a theme I’m working on. To not only ask but allow people to help me. This is also all about the concept of accountability.  I am entrusting people with this knowledge and have faith that they will root for me. And I’ve said it out loud so I gotta do it.

Martinak Park on 50 asks : Call It Rejection Not Failure

I am the underdog. And I so deserve to finally allow people to cheer me on and become the happy story I say I want. I will not DIE if I ask people to publish me. I may even make their day to give them something good to publish. How about that for reframing the story. OK so now I get to rewrite my goals and set some deadlines because it’s all conceptual until something gets written down.

——-Visit me on Instagram to see my daily pictures, friend me or like my page on Facebook. Or you can find me on Twitter or Pinterest too. Chat at me and I’ll chat atcha back. Thanks to you as always for your visit. ————-

I’ve Met Ellen DeGeneres Twice and She’s Nice

In another lifetime, I was another wife. I married my first husband when I was 23. We were destined for an 8 year-long unhappy marriage without kids. Eventually we divorced so that I could marry my now husband and have my children. The ex was a sad angry clown with a dream of being a stand up comic. He was a very funny somebody. One open mic night led to another and another and then more gigs, eventually he was headlining, writing radio commercials, recording a Christmas parody song I co-wrote, and hosting various fund-raising events.

Patton Oswalt standing Up from I Met Ellen Twice and She's Nice on Shalavee.com

And Patton, he’s a super nice guy as well.

We were in our 20’s, living gig to gig, and I often found myself in the back of dark clubs with the local Baltimore/DC comedian posse of up and coming comics. Blaine Capatch, Patton Oswalt, and Dave Chappelle were a few gentlemen who moved their careers from right to left coast and “made it” while the ex stayed behind, stuck. Glad for those guys. Sad for him. I met Ellen DeGeneres during this period.

The first time was in Baltimore around 1993 or 94 at a charity benefit for children. (I can’t remember the second time I met her. It may have been a show at the Slapstix Comedy Club in Baltimore.) The Ex was MC-ing and she was headlining, pre-Ellen sit-com time. I remember how lovely and sweet and very talented I thought she was. Her telephone conversation with God was the brilliant. She had a gruff long dark-haired girlfriend accompanying her who then went looking for cigarettes, and on returning, needed a light. I kindly provided her with some matches. They didn’t seem all that happy together. Or, I didn’t think this gal was worthy of Ellen and wondered why they were together. I was living that same disenchantment in my heart. Projection.

Having been on that “scene” and in and around the TV business, I can tell you celebrity hype is just that. You can’t always judge a book by the fame of its cover. Perfectly nice funny people may be completely miserable, living in their cars, shooting and snorting, and generally unhappy. You could ask them if they are unhappy and they may or may not tell you just like anyone else. The exception is always Ellen because she’s the exception that proves every rule. I certainly do hope that she is very happy in the life she’s living because I know she would wish me to be. Even if she’ll never remember me.

StrangersOnTheInternet from Emily McDowell Inc.

Never compare your insides to anothers outsides, my wise therapist said.  Fame and money mean bupkis. It’s how a person treats you that matters. Just like in high school, there will always be the underclassmen and the wannabes who’ll remember the person a ladder wrung above them. And the upperclassmen will be too busy looking above them still to see us below. The trick is to recognize that the place you are in now is good.  What’s up ahead of you might not hold the promise of peace, power, money, or retribution that you think it does. All you’ve got is the now to do the very best kindest most authentic work possible. And know that your stuff is just as good as their stuff. Be polite and respectful to everyone as you would hope they would be too you. Authenticity speaks volumes.

Ms. Ellen, you’re the real deal and people know it. Thanks for being an inspiration and an exception.

photo credit:Picture of Ellen by Thomas Hawk via photopin cc

photo credit:Picture of Patton Oswalt the2scoops via photopin cc

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