Taking a bow

Don’t think of this as good-bye.

Well, okay, maybe a little.

Friends, after months of periodically mulling things over, noodling, waffling, and otherwise staring into space for extended periods of time I’ve decided it’s time to end my run here at One-Woman Show. For over two years I’ve shared my tales of juggling life, laundry and love, and blogging has been a part of this juggling. But in the last six months or so I’ve realized how important it is for me to simplify my life a bit more, or at least to focus my time and energy a little differently. And with that comes choices.

For now, I’m choosing to focus on new — and renewed — pursuits instead of blogging:

Like writing a new humor column at The Imperfect Parent!

I’ve spent the last year dishing about single parenting and divorce in my Dinner for One column, but it’s time to change focus, particularly because my single days are winding down. (Woohoo!) So, I pitched an idea to the editor for a new yet-to-be-titled humor column and he liked it. I’ll be starting in late June so check back here or at the Imperfect Parent website for more details!

Like writing and submitting articles, essays…and, eventually, another novel.

I didn’t discover a love of writing until my late 30’s; I didn’t discover blogging until 2007. I’ve often wished I’d made these discoveries earlier in life, but now I understand (or at least begrudgingly admit) they came into my life at exactly the right time.

This blog has helped me find my voice and hone my writing style. It’s also opened up writing opportunities for me — other potential blogging gigs, my first column — plus helped me connect with potential agents, authors, writers, and, yes, readers like you whose feedback and friendship I value so much.

What I haven’t spent as much time doing as I’d like to is writing outside of OWS. I’m excited to change gears now and do more pitching and submissions. Build my portfolio. Collect those clips. Get more paying gigs! Start work on Novel #2.

I don’t know how or where this will all go, but I have confidence it will go somewhere.

I want to (or maybe I have to?) give it a go.

Like volunteering — through blogging!

Yes, you read that right. I’m combining my interest in non-profits and writing by helping to start a blog for HEARTH, a great organization I’ve been involved with for about 5 years. HEARTH helps up to 15 single moms and their children find their footing again – through safe housing, mentoring, parenting and life skills classes — plus a lot of hard work on the women’s part. I hope I can keep up with them as an occasional guest contributor.

Like spending time away from the computer.

Despite all I’ve written about, well, writing, I’m looking forward to spending more time outdoors, more time exercising (because I’m actually exercising again!) and just enjoying more of life with the wonderful people in my life.

That’s what I really want to do when the curtains close.

Oh, there is one other thing.

 

 

Heh. I’ve always wanted to say that (and it’s true). 😉

From the bottom of my heart, thank you for reading and sharing your comments here.

I’ve loved blogging at OWS and wouldn’t be surprised if I find myself blogging again someday. In the meantime, I’m linking to some of my favorite posts below. Please enjoy them… and see you real soon around town or the internet!

Susan

Best in Show / Vintage Susan/ One Woman’s Favorites to Write:

I Will Beat Myself Silly with a Limp Lizard (One of my all-time favs!)

Scenes Not from an Italian Restaurant

Italian Genes Do Not Equal la Dolce Vita

Query Me This A really fun one to write. Seriously, I cracked myself up.

Party Moms Gone Mad

Complicated Like This

This is My Life

Take A Flying Leap (or Watch Me Take One) Probably the last time you’ll see me jump out of a plane on purpose!

You Tarzan Me Be Jane

Embarrassing Dating Tales I: Mothballs and Me

And MORE Embarrassing Dating Tales: Dwight Was Right (oh, and these are just the “best” tales – oy!)

Wake Me Up Before You BloNoGoGo – A pseudo tribute to NanoWriMo…and if you don’t know what that is, well, never mind

My Life in Poetry (or Not)

Dating and the Patience is a Virtue Experiment

Better yet, when my patience finally paid off:

A Blog, A Law and a Little Luck – Part I

…and Part II (yeah, it’s good 🙂 )

I do, take two

Many of my friends (including some of my best single parent pals and readers) have asked how I’m handling this whole getting remarried situation. Well, I’m so glad you asked. Or that some of you asked.

I swear someone asked me…or did I imagine it?

Never mind — I’m a-gonna tell you anyway in this month’s Dinner for One at The Imperfect Parent. I reveal more about breaking the news to my kids and what it’s like to be in wedding planning mode a second time around. I’m happy to say: so far, so good!

Read all about it before you get sidetracked with listening to Mominatrix’s Radio spot on Christian sex toys. Or at least go back and read my article afterward. Please?  😉

Lucky 13

I’ve had the benefit of being part of my local blogging group, Pittsburgh Bloggers, for the last 2 years, plus a newer mom bloggers group in the area. With Pittsburgh Bloggers, we meet quarterly at a watering hole down by PNC Park for drinks and conversation (and, ironically, no blogging). It’s been a great way to put a face with a name, to network and meet new friends. Heck, it even helped my love life! But I’ve always wanted to meet some of the other bloggers I read — those in cities far, far away. So, back in January when I first found out I would be going to San Francisco on business, I boldly decided to pay for an extra night in the hopes my favorite bloggers in the area would like to meet.

They did!

(Or, they claimed they did!)

Actually, I think these are the only bloggers I know from San Francisco, but that’s besides the point. The point is that I was — and still am — pretty darned geeked about meeting Dadshouse, Depot Dad and Single Mom Seeking in real, offline life!

First, I spent the afternoon with David from Dadshouse. We met in North Beach, where we had lunch outside in the sun at one of the many wonderful cafes, and then a delish steaming cup of cappuccino at the famous espresso landmark, Cafe Trieste. Aren’t you impressed already?! Seriously, it really didn’t matter where we were; David is smart, funny and easy to talk to. And talk we did, about blogging, love/dating — if you read Dadshouse, please let me state for the record that his dating tales are FAR more interesting than mine ever were! — kids, and writing. I find it interesting and a bit of a relief that I’ve found someone who apparently writes his blog posts as slowly as I do! It was interesting, too, to hear more about his novels and their (his?) journey towards publication.

The one thing about David that didn’t impress me so much was his skills as a tour-guide. We walked by this beautiful cathedral across Washington Square and he made a sweeping gesture like he was about to tell me its history, and proclaimed something like, “And over there…is a really old church.”

Doh!

(That’s for you, David 🙂  )

After a brief stop back at my hotel, I met Rachel from Single Mom Seeking and we headed back to North Beach, this time to the equally wonderful Cafe Divine, to have dinner with Jim, aka Depot Dad. (Sidenote: Jim knows Chef David Wees from his Omaha days. Funny how they both ended up in SF. Highly recommend the restaurant, btw.) Let me say that Rachel and Jim were both as I pictured — down-to-earth, warm, funny and very genuine…and genuinely likable. (Rachel also has the most beautiful blue eyes!) Again, the conversation was easy and relaxed, like we’ve known each other for a long time. We talked about so much in a relatively short period of time: what’s happening in our lives, our kids, the blogosphere, and love — dating, relationships, and I suppose in not such an obvious sense, the love of friends. Perhaps even new blogging friends.

We didn’t stay out late, but it’s amazing what you can fit into a few hours. Jim and Rachel had to pick up their kids, and Jim was a little worn out after his latest rounds of treatment. But, it was so worth it, and I hope to vist again. If you ever get the chance to spend a few hours with the bloggers you’ve connected with, I say go for it! Really, I couldn’t think of a better way to spend a Friday the 13th. Lucky me!

P.S. For those of you who read both Dadshouse and Single Mom Seeking, you know there was…oh, how shall I say… a bit of hubbub last week between the two. I’m not going to comment except to say, yes, I talked to each of them about it; yes, they’re both moving forward; and, no, I didn’t have to break apart our meet-up plans; we planned separate outings on Friday due to scheduling, which always seems trickier for single parents. What I will say is that while each of our “voices” sound different, I believe our intentions in blogging are the same: to express ourselves and our opinions in a manner that is geniune to who we are. As readers, we’re going to like some styles and stories better than others — maybe some of the time, maybe all of the time. As writers, we know just how powerful the written word can be.

Which is why I hope that, someday, they’ll have a chance to talk…whether they decide to blog about it for us or not.

PPS. Would you believe I brought my camera to SF, but forgot to bring it both times I went out. Definitely a double Doh!

A little bit of B.A.D.

 

Well, I don’t really have all that much to write, but I felt if I didn’t do another post ASAP One-Woman Show might go dark forever.

Wha-huh? Where did that come from? What’s with the sad music? Susan doesn’t know how to load sound onto her blog. This can’t be good…

See, I think I’m suffering from Blogging Affect Disorder.

I’ve been having a hard time finding the motivation to blog lately and pretty much have doubted anything I write will be worth the screen it shows up on.

Which wouldn’t be bad considering a new Dell 17" flat panel monitor costs over $230 and brings hours of glare-free enjoyment, but let’s not get sidetracked with facts — I’m wallowing over here, ‘kay? (BTW, I won’t even tell you how long I just spent revising — and then explaining — that analogy so it would make some sense. And it really doesn’t. And it’s not really an analogy, is it? *sigh*)

This meh attitude is nothing personal; I’m just going through my strongest case yet of feeling tapped out — of energy, time and ideas. Is it because I’m 40? Over-extended and not able to focus? I don’t know. (Hint: I’ll take a "maybe" and "definitely" for $500!) I see so many fellow bloggers and writers (particularly those who also are parents) pull it off and I’m truly in awe of them, even if I don’t understand how they do it. (I’ve been going through a few spats of jealousy, too. Most greens look good on me, but that  shade certainly doesn’t.) I guess I’ve been getting caught up in what others are writing (in blogs and through other venues), and how they’re writing it, and how often they’re writing it, rather than fine tuning what I want to write in my own voice.

It’s just sometimes I don’t know what that is at all.

I might add my voice comes in flat, midwestern tones. Thank GOD she doesn’t know how to add sound here…

I’ve given very serious consideration in the last few months, and very recently, to giving it up altogether  — commence "gasp!"/wail sequence — so I can focus on my non-bloggy writing, plus other areas I’ve neglected — like getting back to a healthier weight and fitness level, and spending more time in front of my kids, not with my back to them as I sit in front of the computer during those precious few hours I have to myself.

But I’m going to see what I can manage and possibly change with this blog now and into 2009 (sigh of relief — or was that a yawn?). As they say, you gotta "be the change," so if you’re game — and willing to work through some changes, pauses and fine tuning — then, I am, too.

Because, you know, I never do things the easy way!

PS. Hope you’re getting through the holiday season with sanity intact. I won’t argue if you want to send me a new 17" flat panel monitor either.

 

 

Wake me up before you BloNoGoGo

Can you believe it’s November already? November always seems to be one of the busier months in our house and this year is no exception. It also happens to be the month in which many bloggers and writers participate in two national pain-inducing writing challenges: NaNoWriMo and NaBloPoMo. NaNoWriMo encourages participants to write 50,000 words towards the first draft of a new novel, while NaBloPoMo sets one blog post each day as the target for bloggers. Their popularity increases every year, and every September I think, “yeah! I’m going to do it!” But every November I bail on the idea. Why?

Because November is NaSuChoMoNational Sucky Choice Month!

Seriously, I applaud all of you who are taking part in one or both of these life-changing experiences, but I can’t.

“Why not, Susan? Are you a LoMo? (Loser MoMo – btw, I really enjoy calling people “mo-mos” it’s fun to say, don’t you think? NoNo?) Oh, I’ll tell you, my pretties – by sharing my: 

Top 10 Reasons It’s SuNoNoMuWriMo

 (Susan’s November of Not Much Writing Month)

10. First, let’s start with the most basic rationale: it’s November 3rd! And the day is almost over! I’ve already blown the daily blogging challenge, and unless I engage in magical thinking and get started, like, NOW and forsake all my duties as an employee, mother, daughter, friend, girlfriend and human being with good hygiene and pink unicorns grow extra thick coats because hell hath frozen over, there is no way I will churn out 50K words by the end of the month.

9. After a 72-hour post-Halloween sugar high my energy has plummeted to very, very low levels. Like making me want to break into Swing Low Sweet Chariot (a.k.a. SwiLoSweeCho). I guess scarfing down 5 pounds of Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups from your kids’ candy stash while they’re sleeping can be counterproductive.

8. Tomorrow night I will be too busy either crying tears of joy or tears of sorrow to write. My vote is for tears of joy (read: SaPaGoBacLaSarah Palin Go Back to ‘laska). Well, I may be up for helping Joe the Plumber rewrite his resume.

7. I’m going to San Diego and SoCal for a week’s vacation with FlyBoy before Thanksgiving! Yes, friends, a WEEK! Seven days of my first real, no-kids/relatives vacation in over 8 years — yowsa! Of course, I’ve been on long weekend trips with my girlfriends, but going away with the man I love? (Oops, did I SpiLoBeOspill the love beans, oh-no?!) And, no, I’m not bringing my laptop so I can blog about it.

6. Did I mention that I’m taking FlyBoy to see Spamalot a few nights after we return? I’ve seen it once before but can’t wait to see LaLa (Lady in the Lake) singing again. Hilarious — LMAO!

5. Then, the night after that I’m taking my daughter and her friend to see The Cheetah Girls in concert. PaDaTyNo (Pass da Tylenol, please!)

4. The day after that I’ll stuff my face with turkey and all the trimmings.

3. Then, the day after that I’ll roll into work because we’re open that day (BaHuBu!ba humbug!) to catch up on everything I fell behind on (see #7). Will begin planning how I can postpone Christmas shopping until 2009.

2. By this point I will realize I am exhausted (#s 10-3), deaf (#5), broke (#s7, 6 and 5) and fat (#s9, 7 and 4), making me too depressed to do much of anything.

The number one reason why November is SoNoGoGo:

1. By November 30th I will have realized I SHOULD have blogged every friggin’ day this month because now all I can churn out are silly top 10 lists and acronyms.

Thank you. It was the best I can do. See you in December.

(Just kidding…sort of.)