Hello, HelloGiggles…

So, I think I’ve mentioned my love for the blog HelloGiggles on here before.  It’s the popular blog for girls founded by Zooey Deschanel, Sophia Rossi, and Molly McAleer.  The idea behind it is to empower young women and be a place to rant and rave about beauty, friendship, relationships, pop culture, pets, television, movies, fandom, etc.

Long story short, they’re really great about giving other writer’s a chance to contribute, and I thought about submitting something on more than a few occasions.  I’ve heard it’s a tough gig to get, but I knew I had to try.  This blog couldn’t have been a more appropriate place for me to get involved; there were other nostalgic posts about the old teen series Sweet Valley High (which I love by the way), Judy Blume (who I also love) is a contributor, and I could go on and on about all the reasons I wanted to be a part of it.

Then, I wrote an essay for a creative writing class I’m taking, and I knew it was the perfect post to submit.  It was one of those pieces that was written in about fifteen minutes, and one that I didn’t have to think too much about it. 

I felt like I had nothing to lose so I went ahead and sent it in.  By the next morning there was a response in my email.  I thought it was going to be an automated response, like, “Thank you so much for submitting and blah, blah, blah,” but it wasn’t!  They were asking me for pictures to go with the post because they wanted to use it!

So, I’m pleased to announce you can see my featured writing on HelloGiggles.  Can you tell I’m super thrilled about it?  Because I am!  Check it out at:

http://hellogiggles.com/my-grandmothers-lipstick.

~The End.

Stories from the Out Crowd

I pride myself as being someone who marches to the beat of their own drum.  Even as a teenager when so much of your life revolves around what your friends are doing, wearing, or who you surround yourself with, I never really cared much about any of it.

I didn’t go to a regular college, I attended a musical theater conservatory for two years right out of high school, where there were lots of eccentrically awesome theater people, but no fraternities or sororities, and no clubs.  If I had gone to a university, though, I guarantee I would have never joined a sorority.  I have absolutely nothing against them, I think that they can be a great way to meet new people, but I guess I’ve always preferred to do my own thing independently.  On a side note, Legally Blonde always made me want to be part of a sorority…but that’s a different story for a different day.

These girl might make me change my mind about joining a sorority...

It’s been fun always being so independent, but what happens when a self-proclaimed non-joiner tries to, well, join something?

About six months ago I found this blog called HelloGiggles.  It’s this quirky blog, that takes all kinds of different blogs from women and puts them on their site.  The first time I laid eyes on it, I thought I had found some sort of mecca for other girls so similar to me.  It was filled with cute little stories about their collective love for Sweet Valley High books, Judy Blume, and all things Molly Ringwald.  As I looked through the hundreds of posts, I couldn’t believe how much I had in common with these girls.

When I saw the link that said “Contribute To Our Blog,” I got so excited.  I immediately filled out the little form where you can submit three of your posts, tried to think of something witty to say for the “about me” section, and gushed to them how obsessed I was with their blog.  I told them how much I loved Sweet Valley High, and how I tried to form my own “Babysitter’s Club” when I as younger, too.  I sent it in, and immediately got an automated response back that said my submission would be reviewed, and I’d hear back from someone in two weeks.  I patiently waited for two weeks, but after fourteen days…I heard nothing.  There was no formal rejection, and no response saying they wanted to use one of my posts either.  After three weeks had passed, I decided to fill out another form with three different blogs, but again two weeks went by, and nothing.  So, I did it a third, and a fourth, and a fifth…and there was nothing but crickets.

I was disappointed.  I asked myself, “What did I do wrong?  Did they not like my posts?  Didn’t they like me?”  I was so sure they were going to love it, at least one of them…how could I be so wrong?  It was then that I grasped what it must feel like for girls who pledge a sorority, thinking you have found a group of girls where you perfectly fit in, only to not be selected and left wondering why.

The bigger question was why did I care so much?  It wasn’t like me to care about something like this at all.  I think it was because when I finally decided I wanted to be a part of something, I couldn’t.  I hadn’t anticipated that.

It took me back to high school, college, different places I’ve worked, auditions I haven’t landed, and made me remember situations I hadn’t thought about in years where I felt left out.  Had my fiercely independent attitude been nothing more than a defense mechanism all along?

I really can’t be sure, but all I know is, I’ve learned something from this situation.  Sometimes people are going to like you, and sometimes they won’t.  Sometimes everything fits right into place the way you expect it to, and sometimes it doesn’t.  All you can be is you, and nothing more.

It’s kind of like what Dr. Seuss said…

“Today you are you, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is youer than you.”

Sometimes just being you is all you can be, and that’s enough.

~The End

Photos by alphalogistics.us, xfinity.comcast.net, imdb, safenetwork.org

Good Ol’ Bev…

Hooray!  I joined Twitter!

Yeah, I know I’m about 2-3 years late to jump on the bandwagon, but as displayed in my post a few months ago, Today I Realized I’m Not That Cool, that is totally my style anyway.

I have to admit, I never really “got” Twitter before, even when multiple people tried to explain it to me.  Sometimes when people would have their Twitter tweets posted to Facebook, I would be like, “What the H does that mean?” I think it was all the “@’s” that threw me off.  By the way, is anyone else confused by that?!

So, basically I’m like a kid in a candy store on Twitter now, and a total junky.  I love finding all of my favorite celebs, and I now can see why people are obsessed with it, because it can feel like you are really their friends.  Wow, I sound like a total loser, but I think that’s what’s so fascinating about it.  Plus, it’s just another platform for me to rant about random stuff.  So, there’s that.

I think the coolest person I’ve followed so far is Beverly Cleary.  Does anyone remember her?  She was one of my favorite authors growing up.  She wrote the “Beezus and Ramona” books, among lots of others.

Does this jog anyones memory?

Anyway, I am obsessed with reading her tweets, because she is exactly what you would imagine her to be like…kind of a mix between your favorite great-aunt, a G-ma, and a really awesome old lady who is still very much with it, but a bit technologically challenged.  Who isn’t though?!

Good Ol' Bev

I’ve started to refer to her as “Good Ol’ Bev.”  For instance, Matt will ask me, “Hey, what are you doing over there?”  And I’ll answer, “Oh nothing, just reading Good Ol’ Bev’s tweets.”  He usually just shakes his head and laughs at this.

Seriously though, her Tweets are hysterical.

Here are some of her highlights…

“I haven’t logged on in a while. Haven’t found the time! 😦 I’m trying to follow everyone, but it is getting difficult!”

5 minutes later…

“If I don’t follow you immediately, for those of you who are newer followers, I’ll try to do it soon, but I have 124 people to follow…”

6 minutes later…

“…and it can take quite awhile, but please know that even if I’m not able to follow you, that I really wanted to get to know you!” <–See what I mean?!  Good Ol’ Bev!

Here is exactly what I’d imagine her to be like, and Good Ol’ Bev delivers…

“Had a relaxing day, now am re-reading “Little Woman” for what seems to be the hundredth time! I may even know a couple chapters by heart! :)”

Or…

“I am sipping some chamomile tea, curled up with my great-granddaughter, reading her a story.”

My personal favorite… 

“I just received a strange email declaring that I have won a UK E-Lottery. What do you guys think? Spam? Or is it for real?”

Oh Bev…

I think we can all collectively agree that Good Ol’ Bev is kind of the bomb.  I’m also following Judy Blume and she’s pretty funny, too.  For example, her description of herself reads, “Are you there Twitter, it’s me Judy Blume.”  How awesome is that?  It’s an ode to her classic (and one of my faves) “Are You There God, it’s me, Margaret.”

If anyone wants to follow me, I’m @SarahBPalma

And feel free to poke fun at my tweets, too, if you’d like…

~The End

Photos by highlightsparents.com, and amazon.com

On Taking Criticism….

So, apparently I have a lot to learn.  For starters, taking criticism.  I have to admit, I have never been good at accepting a sharp critique.  Anyone with me on that?  I could be wrong, but I think you have to be a really strong person to be able to allow someone to give you an honest opinion about something you really care about, and to be able to sincerely accept it with an open mind.  Sure it’s easy to receive judgement on something you could care less about, but when you have truly put your heart and soul into something, and someone doesn’t like it?  Well, it hurts.  It kind of feels like someone is bursting your bubble, or like someone decided to bring around a cloud to rain on your parade.  Now I know how Barbra felt.

Almost like she's saying, "Please, for the love, don't rain on my parade!!!"

Today, I got some critiques back from my classmates in a Writing For Young Adults class at the college I attend online.  I was anticipating the feedback all last weekend, because I knew that early this week I was going to get the verdict from my classmates.  The class is set up to be a workshop environment where each week a new student submits a few chapters from the novel they’re writing, and your fellow classmates honestly critique it.  Now, I probably set myself up for disaster because as some of the feedback started rolling in early Monday, I felt like nothing could bring me down.  I had some positive feedback, where one classmate even compared my writing to Judy Blume (which totally made my life, because I basically love her, and read all of her books growing up.)  I was feeling really confident, and even started fantasizing about the Pulitzer Prize that I might win one day.  Okay, so that’s really awkward, but if I’m honest, I think I did actually wonder at one point what the requirement for a Pulitzer Prize was.  Hello, delusional!

Later this afternoon I cheerfully signed on to the forum for the class to check if anymore feedback had come through on my novel, and BINGO, one new message.  Hooray!  I was extremely excited to receive the rest of my feedback, that would confirm my Pulitzer Prize writing future.  However, much to my chagrin, it was not positive at all, it was downright, devastating.  It was from a classmate, and she criticized everything about my piece.  This b*tch went cray cray on my baby (my novel) and destroyed everything in its path, from my use of parenthesis, to the main character whom she called “dry.”  P.S.  That character was basically modeled after moi, so I was a little offended.

I spent the next hour on the phone with my mother going off about her. I used an array of tactics to cut her down the same way in which she had done to me, (e.g. saying things to the effect of, “Hasn’t she ever heard of a prologue before?!  It’s like she’s never read a freaking book before!  She must read effing Harry Potter!” <–Btdubs, no offense to anyone who like the Potter-inator…I was just angry when I said that, and JK Rowling is amaze.)  So anyway, I basically just went off about it, until even I got sick of hearing myself talk.

After my rant was over, I thought about what I was really upset about.  I was let down.  I had a moment earlier in the week when I had received such positive responses that I felt like nothing could touch me.  My ego was hurt because someone didn’t like my work, and because I had put my full effort into it, she told me her honest opinion, and maybe some of what she said had some truth to it.  I retaliated by cutting her down to make myself feel better, but it didn’t make me feel better, it just made me feel worse.

It made me think of a quote that I once heard that says, “Whatever you do, don’t
congratulate yourself too much or berate yourself either – your
choices are half chance, so are everybody else’s.”  The part about congratulating yourself too much, is apparently the part that I need to take note of in the future, and obviously something I need to work on.

Also, something to remember for the next time…

I don’t know if accepting criticism will ever get easier for me, but I do know, I am going to work on it.  Apparently I haven’t exactly taken my own advice.  To those of you who have read, “Stuff I’ve Realized Recently,” well, you all know what I’m talking about.  Perhaps in some ways I really have stopped caring less about what people think since I’ve gotten older…However…

Maybe there are some things, no matter how old you are, what you proclaim to the world in a blog as gospel, or how much you say you don’t care what people think, are always going to sting and trigger something in that little place inside you, until you learn the right way to just Let. It. Go….

The End~