Just Call Me ‘Prudence the Procrastinator’

I’m the biggest procrastinator. I put things off until the bitter end- blog posts, car registration renewals, diets. You name a task and I’ve done literally everything else there is to do before starting on said task. 

At the same time, I overthink things to the point of obsession. When it comes to my writing, even though I don’t have numerous posts written ahead of time, scheduled and ready for publishing, I have ideas, phrases, and themes constantly swirling and developing in my head. 

Getting my thoughts into a blog post is always my biggest challenge. It’s not that I don’t like to write, in fact, it’s the direct opposite (obviously). I fear that if I’m not in the perfect frame of mind or mood, my writing won’t come out the way I hear it in my head and feel it in my heart. 

Thus, the endless ideas swimming around, stuck inside my obsessive, yet lazy mind,  never seeing the light of day. 

So, all of this rambling to say my post I was working on for today is not ready. I didn’t devote the time needed and now it’s nearly 10 PM. I can’t half-ass it just to have something to post on my usual post day. 

I’m better than that and you all deserve better than that. 

So, instead of a *real* post, I want to hear from you. What does the creative writing process mean to you? Do you struggle with producing? What about any writer insecurities? What do you do to ignite inspiration? 

Talk to me! 

Always overthinking to avoid real work. Someone’s gotta do it!

Travel Tuesday- The Point Reyes National Seashore 

I was inspired by An Historian’s post on the Aran Islands, and by my continual wanderlust to write about my recent trip to the Point Reyes National Seashore in California. 

Now, it’s not Ireland or anywhere near as exotic as Croatia (read The Wandering Flamingo’s post about her holiday on Šipan Island), but if you’re on the west coast of the United States, and anywhere near San Francisco, it’s a must-do! 

My good friend, Holly and I had originally wanted to drive a piece of the Oregon Coast during our summer vacation girls’ getaway. When we realized that our busy schedules and dwindling teacher bank accounts wouldn’t support such a venture, we looked into checking out the redwoods. I’ve been through the Redwood National Park a couple of times, but not Holly. But, again, we were faced with time constraints. 

Before packing it in, and putting off our trip for another time (Don’t do this, ya’ll. Time is fleeting, and you never know if you’ll get around to seeing everything you want to in one lifetime), Holly suggested we head just north of the Bay Area to the Point Reyes National Seashore. 

Being in Reno means quick access to the San Francisco Bay Area. On a good day, with minimal traffic, one can find themselves perusing the funky shops in Chinatown in 3.5 hours. 

Finding our way to the Point Reyes National Seashore took about the same amount of time, and bonus: no crazy city traffic and hobo street sprinters.

Our first stop along the national seashore was the famous shipwreck in Inverness, California. (I loved being in Inverness *again*!) Often described as “Instagrammable”, it was a fun place to stop and take pictures we, of course, posted on Insta. 

Everything looks better after filters. Amiright?

The strange shipwreck was cool to see, but what was most beautiful was the drastic drop in temperature. It was so nice to leave the 100-degree temperatures behind, even if the humidity gave me an insta-perm. 

The first major stop we made was to the Point Reyes Lighthouse. If you plan on checking out the lighthouse, make sure you visit the National Park Service website for operating hours, as the lighthouse is closed after 4 PM Monday through Friday. Also, if the wind is too strong, the steps leading to the lighthouse will be closed.


It’s important to be aware that the climb to and from the lighthouse is incredibly challenging. Not only will you be climbing the equivalence of 30 floors, the wind is intense. On more than one occasion I felt like I could easily be carried off the cliff by the wind.

Read more about my epic climb in my Trail Fails post. 


Be prepared with extra water, walking shoes, wet wipes and a full tank of gas, as amenities are lacking. Speaking of amenities, the bathrooms are not fabulous and there is no running water to wash your hands. 

All that said, the views of the shoreline, surrounding landscape, and ocean are breathtaking. 



After nearly being blown clear off the coast at the lighthouse, we continued along the seashore. As we drove winding roads that cut through tall fields of grasses being whipped around by the relentless wind, the contrast between the wheat-colored grass and the ever-changing aegean and teal blue water was striking. 


I don’t know why, but this view evoked an Eastern European or Middle Eastern feeling in me. I’ve never been to either, so…I dunno?
 

After a brisk hike along an expanse of the seashore that seemed entirely untouched, we continued on to another location that was eerily desolate. 



Maybe it was because it was late in the afternoon, or it was due to the fact that there was no one else around, but the Marconi radio facilities building felt so incredibly creepy to me. I think, maybe, it was also the long, tree-canopied lane that leads to the decades-old building. I envisioned myself alone in that building, at night, watching as my untimely demise came slowly, but assuredly down the road. 

*shudders*


On the second day of our girl getaway we hung out in some huge trees:


Ate a picnic lunch on Stinson Beach:

 


And, got a killer view of San Francisco from reeeeeally far away:


I’ve seen the otherworldly Scottish Highlands, the impossible green that is Ireland, and the patchwork perfection that is the English countryside, but the Point Reyes National Seashore is another kind of beautiful. 
Really, there is no comparing one beautiful place with another. There are so many kinds of beautiful, that no matter how hard you try, you’ll never see them all in one lifetime. 

Point Reyes is a rugged kind of beautiful, and despite the tourists, remains, somehow, wild and untouched. 

Have you ever been somewhere that reminded you of someplace else, even if you’ve never been to that someplace else? Ever been to a beautiful place that feels undiscovered and wild? Let me know in the comments! 

Monday Musings: What Are Your Blog Reading Requirements? 

I was just talking with a friend about the purpose of reading blogs. She’s a devoted reader of mine and, apparently, I’m the only blogger she reads. She was saying that unless she’s friends with or related to the blog writer, she’s probably not going to spend her time reading their personal stories. I can totally respect that some people have to know the blogger/writer to want to read about their embarrassing encounter with the Porta Potty or their personal preference when it comes to stand mixers. 

I totally get that. 

I’m pretty much the opposite of my friend when it comes to online reading preferences. 

I love reading about someone’s awesome vacation to some exotic locale or reading about how they make a mean enchilada casserole with a recipe they got from their crazy Aunt Marge. 

Maybe that’s totally weird? 

Maybe I’m entirely too interested in complete strangers’ fun family stories or how they studied abroad in Ireland (read about one of my favorite blogger’s experiences doing just that here)?

Whatever it may be, I can definitively say that I’m a devoted blog reader, and I appreciate my committed readers more than words can express.

Throughout the last two years and some odd months, I’ve connected with, gotten to know, and enjoyed reading so many bloggers. 

I love you all. I truly do. We are a tribe, and I’m so fortunate to be a part of it.

Just like my friend, however, I have some requirements that must be met in order for me to spend so much of my time reading blogs. 

These are some of them:

1. You’re a real person who responds to comments and engages with your readers. If you never respond to comments, or it takes you far too long to respond, and I’ve long since forgotten about your post, I will grow weary of dedicating time to read and comment. 

2. Posts are well-written and purposeful. We all make grammatical errors (like that one time I made a massive one in the title of a post *cringe*), but if the mistakes take away from the message, this teacher can’t even. 

3. The topic is one in which I can relate to in some way, shape, or form. This is a pretty straightforward one. If you write about something I can hardly come up with a comment for, then your topic is best left to those who can. There’s nothing wrong with that. I write about back fat, rogue chin hairs, and how I have a tendency to inhale baked goods. Those topics aren’t for everyone, either. 

And, that’s it, really. If you respond to comments I spend time crafting, you don’t have grammatical errors every line, and your posts keep me wanting more, I’m hooked. 

So, I’m curious-what are your blog reading preferences and requirements? Let me know in the comments. 

WTF Wednesdays #13: BuzzFeed Edition

Holy shit, ya’ll! I did something crazy! Last Friday, I sent my application to BuzzFeed London for a summer Writer Fellow position!

I think I hinted at engaging in something that could be a life-changer in my Wednesday post last week. I figured I had better explain further.

After an especially stressful day teaching, I started searching for writing gigs. I was suddenly struck with the thought, “What about BuzzFeed?” So, I searched their job opportunities, saw the fellow program in London, and was just like, “HOLY SHIT. YES!”

Not only is this gig in my favorite city that just happens to reside in my favorite country, it is a writing opportunity for the summer (I have been on the search for a summer job abroad). It really couldn’t have been more perfect.

I first saw this job posting last Monday and the application was due that Friday.

This wouldn’t have been that big of a deal for Last-Minute-Lorna (one of my many alter-egos), but the application requirements were intensive.

Not that that is a bad thing. I mean, I’d rather apply to an organization that only wants the best of the best than an institution that has no standards, but I had a week to get it all done. A week. 

This sounds like a lot, but it really isn’t. It.really.isn’t.

This is what was required to apply:

  • 3 non-fiction pieces that are at minimum 1,000 words each (I sent Aerial AnticsLinda, and Felony Stop)
  • A cover letter including:
    • 3-5 pitches that the applicant feels are relevant and that BuzzFeed London would be interested in
    • 2-3 literary influences that have helped shape the applicant’s writing, perspective, and style
    • Career goals and what the applicant would want to accomplish if given the opportunity to work at BuzzFeed London

The pitches were the hardest part, and what I spent most of my week on. Not only did I want to come up with original (or, if not entirely original, a new, Fatty McCupcakes-esque spin on an existing theme) ideas, I needed to make sure they would fit within the culture of BuzzFeed London. I revised and edited precisely a million times. I also enlisted the help of my editor and two English friends who are also fellow writers.

(Somehow, even after re-reading precisely 8,457 times and handing my draft over to my editor, I messed up my numbering and there were a couple pretty glaring typos. Woes is me, I cunt count. So, likely, my application was immediately sent to the trash bin.) 

My literary influences and the write up I sent is as follows:

As white-girl-basic as it may make me sound, Sophie Kinsella is my writing idol. At a time when I was still young and dumb enough to think that getting myself out of debt snafus was as easy as having an upscale yard sale, Kinsella was my spiritual guide on all shopping, love, and oh-shit-I’m-really-screwed matters. Her character, Becky, was a cooler, more British (like, a lot more, since I’m zero British), savvier version of myself. What I learned from Kinsella’s writing was how to reach my readers on a personal, relatable level. In reading Kinsella, I learned the fine art of self-deprecation-poking fun at one’s self and pointing out personal downfalls without seeming whiny or oppressed. Not to mention, Kinsella’s humor and hijinks have been the basis for how I’ve found my own writer’s voice.

The Twelve Little Cakes by Dominika Dery was the first memoir I ever read. In hopes of weaning me off Kinsella, my mom purchased this book for me at the Dollar Store, no less. She thought it looked meatier than your average chick-lit book, and it had “cakes” in the title. She figured it would be a win. For once, my mother’s literary suggestions paid off, and I was utterly engrossed by Dery’s life growing up in Communist Prague. It was in this book that I found the beauty in telling a story about one’s life, however mundane. Dery’s life was by no means unremarkable, but the real essence of her story was found in the simple goings-on of her family. Because Dery told her story in such a way that you could have sworn she lived right down the street, every word was like coming home. Dery’s The Twelve Little Cakes has been hugely influential for how I write my own beautifully mundane stories.

I was first introduced to Khaled Hosseini via the movie, The Kite Runner. Strangely, The Kite Runner was not my first reading of Hosseini, but A Thousand Splendid Suns. This books sits on my nightstand, dusty, but not forgotten. Hosseini was my first introduction into the beautifully chaotic Middle East and the misunderstood Islam faith. Before having read a book on the topic of Islam, written by a Muslim author, I was blind. After delving heart first into A Thousand Splendid Suns and then devouring book after book on the Middle East, I am now intoxicated by the rhythmic prose and haunting stories of suffering, love, and loss found in Hosseini’s books. As a writer, I have learned from his books how to tell a deeply complex and emotionally charged story with only a few words.

I am hoping that my three literary influences show that I am complex, a deep thinker, and am open to new perspectives, and not just a basic, white bitch. Because, as much as I am basic, I am multifarious.

So, now I wait.

Honestly, it was most likely a crap shoot, a shot in the dark, a first step of many yet to come. But, a part of me is holding out hope that I somehow stood out among the thousands of others applicants. And, those applicants had worse typos than me. 

But, also…

I feel insecure sometimes about my ability. Do I even have an ability to write? Am I relevant, but original? Can I bring up serious topics without alienating my readers? Will I run out of ways to be an asshole in my writing? Will I fail to come up with ways to poke fun at myself and be self-deprecating?

Am I even a writer?

This is my deranged-self-conscious-waiting-to-hear-about-an-opportunity-I-really-want-behavior.

I don’t even know if the rejects will hear if they were rejected. I guess if it’s July 1st and I’m not on a plane to London, I didn’t get it. 

WHAT DO I DO IN THE MEANTIME? 

Just be glad you don’t live with me and have to deal with this on an hourly basis. My poor, poor boyfriend. 

 

source
 

 

WTF Wednesdays #7: You Whore 

Ahh, blogging. Where do I even begin? I guess from the beginning. 

Way back, like seven years back, I started my first blog. It took a lot to get to the point where I finally hit “publish”. I sent writing samples off to my mom, who, obviously, said I was funny. I worried that she was biased, so she sent off my writing samples to colleagues and friends, never hinting at who I was. The response was incredibly positive and was the impetus to finally put myself out there for the world to read. 

Only, I had NO clue how to blog. Not one fucking iota. The only people who ever read my posts were close friends and family via Facebook and relentless “hints”. 

Not everyone and their halfwit brother had a blog then, so there weren’t articles all over social media about how to blog. I don’t think it was a “thing” then. I also think this was before the WordPress reader. Hashtags, Pinterest, and Twitter weren’t even in existence. It was the Blogging Stone Age. 

Pretty much no one outside of my small circle read my blog. 

What’s crazy is that I was OK with that. I was doing what I loved to do, and it didn’t really matter that I had to beg my ex to post supportive comments to make it look like I had a “following”. 

My second attempt at blogging has been a completely different experience. Completely. 

I’ll never forget the day I got my first “like” from a stranger via WordPress. 

What is this? Someone found my post? And, they read it? 

Wha??? 

From that point on, my following has steadily increased to numbers I never thought possible. 

I love being a “blogger”. Don’t get me wrong. My most favorite part of the blogging experience is connecting with people all over the world, from the United Kingdom to Kenya. That part is amazing and often the only reason I open my WordPress app. 

However, what I am finding to be a challenge is the ever-growing influence to whore myself out for followers, likes, shares, you name it. 

When I started Fatty McCupcakes, I promised myself that I wouldn’t get caught up in the inevitable obsession if all I focused on was how many likes I was getting. 

Don’t get me wrong, following your stats, managing your comments, and knowing what it takes to get your material in front of more readers is an important part of blogging.

But. 

After having an interesting conversation with my blogger bud, Charlotte, I discovered why all of the bullshit involved with blogging has been getting me down:

I’m first and foremost a writer

Blogging comes second to writing. Every.single.time. 

I’m not the kind of blogger who is solely in it for the potential money-making and free product opportunities. I’m definitely not one of those beauty/travel bloggers who seem to  always be jetting off to exotic locale after exotic locale, donning their free swag they got writing positive reviews. It’s just not my jam (I’m also not a ridiculously good-looking, independently wealthy, lucky bitch).

I have nothing against those kinds of bloggers. You do you, boo. If that’s your thing and you’re making money doing it, hell, maybe you’re smarter than I. 

However, some (as in, not all) of these bloggers don’t seem like “real” people. Even more, they don’t seem like writers. They seem to be computers that communicate (if at all) with their followers in a very sterile, impersonal way.  

How far can you fully engage in blogging until you’re a computer prostitute, begging for the opportunity to gain a follower, all just for the price of a risky blow job and a huge hit to your dignity? 

I don’t know about any of you, but there are some aspects of blogging that feel dirty to me. 


This leads me to the conundrum I’m in. Despite the fact that I don’t blog to actually blog, I do blog to gain more exposure. I want people to read what I write and to enjoy it and maybe, just maybe this will lead me to a paying gig at some point. 

I was recently introduced to Go Read, which is an online book club, but also a platform for authors to share their posts and articles. As an author, you have the opportunity to make money depending on clicks, shares and the like. I hear that many authors can make $250 plus a month. In order to get started, you pay a minimal fee of $25 and you have to buy a book and then you get to post. There are groups popping up that one can belong to where you share each other’s articles to up your payable shares. 

Maybe I’m being the dumbest, densest idiot on the block, but this just sounds like the not-good-kind of hustling and exactly the opposite of what I’m about as a writer. 

I’m not sure whether or not I’m ready to whore out my writing to boost my income. 

Tell me: Am I being stupid not taking advantage of an easy, albeit sleezy-feeling money-making opportunity? Do you ever feel like a blogging whore? Let me know in the comments. 

#MyFirstPostRevisited #fbf

I was tagged by Stomper Dad to participate in #MyFirstPostRevisited. It sounded like fun and it goes along nicely with the Flashback Friday thing I’ve got going on. 

Here we come to the rules:

Obvious rules:

  • No cheating. (It must be your first post. Not your second post, not one you love…first post only.)
  • Link back to the person who tagged you (thank them if you feel like it or, if not, curse them with a plague of ladybugs).

Other rules:

  • Copy and paste your old post into a new post or reblog your own bad self. (Either way is fine but NO editing.) 
  • Put the hashtag #MyFirstPostRevisited in your title. 
  • Tag five other bloggers to take up this challenge. 
  • Notify your tags in the comment section of their blog
  • Feel free to cut and paste the badge to use in your post.
  • Include the rules in your post.

People who should also do this: 

An Historian About Town

Charlotte Graham 

No Love For Fatties
Hot Mess
Carrots in My Carryon 



Without further ado, here’s my first ever Fatty McCupcakes post. 
I’m still cringing at my grammatical errors and rambling. The horror. 

I’m actually fatter than I was when I started my blog and “weight loss journey”, my downward dog probably looks more like upended orangutan now, and what was I watching? It looks like Richard Simmons??

Everyone has a blog. I know. Almost just as many people have a blog about their journey from fat life to one of self-acceptance (or sadness, because being thin almost always means no more cupcakes). Despite this, I’m beginning a blog about my journey. How cliche. Whether it will be told from the perspective of a fat girl trying to accept her jiggly arms or through the eyes of a 32-year-old woman who has almost no idea what she is doing with her life has not been decided at this point. I’ll write about my fatness. I’ll write about my need to feel accepted in whatever form. I’ll write about my opinions from “fat acceptance” to the state of our crumbling world, both literally and figuratively. I’ll write about my life experiences, both past and present. I’ll write about the joys and pains of educating our future. I’ll just write, funny, thought-provoking, controversial, whatever.

A total aside-every ‘her’ I’ve typed thus far has auto-corrected to ‘Her’. Her wants to be capitalized. I’m not sure if this means anything, but I really, really want it to. Maybe it means I’m an important, inspiring, worthy woman and my blog will actually be read by others? Maybe it will inspire others? Maybe I’ll make you laugh, cry, or even make you eternally grateful you’re not me. Even if this little sign doesn’t mean anything and my blog is a total bomb or a total unknown in a world full of writers trying to find their way via WordPress, I will continue to write. I am writing for me. Writing is therapeutic, calming, exciting, inspiring and it’s something I will do regardless of how many followers or comments I receive. I’m really not writing for the exposure. I’m writing because I physically have to. When you wake up in the middle of the night to write down a thought so you don’t forget it, or when you park your car after just driving home from work and you have no idea what streets you took or how you even got home because you were mentally writing your next Facebook post or Yelp review, it’s time to start writing a blog again. For the safety of all people on the road, for my sanity, I’m writing again.

Thanks to Facebook and our over-sharing generation most of my readers (I’m already assuming I’ll have readers) know who I am. I’m not yet decided on whether who I am on Facebook or who I am at work or with friends is really who I am. Maybe I’ll find out someday.

Obviously, my name gives it away, I’m a voluptuous cupcake-lover (that’s being kind. I’m fat and I inhale Mix cupcakes in my closet and then I burn the evidence). I’m anal retentive. I’m funnier on paper. In person, I’m likely suffering from Aspergers. I hold on to everything (no, not in a hoarder way, more in an OCD-way). I beat a dead horse. I’m a germaphobe and I guess the secrets out? How did everyone know? I hate being looked at, but I usually feel ignored. I live in the past far too much. I have massive wanderlust, but I’m terrifed of the dangers and uncomfortable aspects of travel. I’m petrified of death, that death is just darkness. I collect Bath & Body Works products, but I hate materialism and have considered living more simply (it’ll never happen…). I notice and remember people, feelings, memories and details fair too perfectly. I’m either an excellent candidate for the Scotland Yard or I’m a creeper. I have only started discovering who I am. Haven’t we all just begun?

I’ve already lost most of you. I’m rambling at this point. I will stop for now. One tiny hint before I go: reading my words outloud might come easier, as I write how I think- a jumbled, mess of thoughts, feelings, desires and fears all wrapped up in a pretty pink bow, because I’m also a neat freak. Welcome to my world.

Shopper Lottie Post-Blame the Hipsters

I have been so lazy lately. I really need to work on a new blog post, but I have not only been lazy, but uninspired. HELP. 

What should I write about? I would love to know if I have missed anything on the topic of being a total fat ass. Help a fatty out!

While I try to find some writing inspiration, check out the post I wrote for Shopper Lottie last year on ugly sweaters, and why we need to blame hipsters for basically everything. Also, let me know in the comments if you have a great idea for a post!

Hello All! My newest Shopper Lottie post is up! Check it out and if you are so inclined, leave me some love over there (I hate asking for that crap, but I would absolutely love to show my potential readers over there how awesome you all are)!

The picture gives you a clue about what my post could be about. Hmmm I wonder how hipsters could be involved?? I guess you will just have to go see!

Blame the Hipsters

sweater
Too bad these are sold out on Etsy. This is just perfection.

Can I Add This to My Resume?

I am so excited to announce that I have been given the opportunity to write for a local magazine. Never did I think that this would be an opportunity available to me. Sure, in my most wildest dreams, did I wonder, but never did I let it settle in my conscious as something that could be a real possibility. Yet, here I am, announcing this wonderful news.

The magazine is called Bliss Babe, and is a women’s health, beauty, and fitness publication.

You might all be wondering what Fatty McCupcakes could possibly have to do with a fitness, beauty, and health magazine. I mean, have you seen me? Have you read my posts about my baked goods addiction? Have you witnessed my epic yoga failure? Apparently, a lot of women relate to my struggles. Apparently, all women struggle with diet, fitness, and feeling beautiful. They are not just my struggles, they are our struggles.

Now, I need your help. The creator has mentioned that it is possible that some of my existing blog posts could be published in the magazine. With that, I need to know which ones would be the best to be featured in an actual magazine *EEEK*.

Below are three possible categories I could be writing about, with links to blog posts falling under that category. If you are new to following me, or missed some of these, and you need something to do, well…I would be forever grateful if you could check these out. At the end of this post are links to 3 different surveys (I have to upgrade, as in pay to have more than 1 question per survey, so um, no. Sorry).

Beauty

Lipstick

My Hairy Life

An Ode to Hairy Women

Health

Why You Gotta Be Like That, Carbs?

Be Cool, Alright?

Fat Clap

Free Donut Day

Get Out the Way, Bitch

Fitness

Whip My Ass Ass

Yoga Farts

21 Minute Survival Challenge

Below, you can find the links to the surveys. If it weren’t for all of the people who read the crazy crap I write, this would not be happening! I would be honored to use your suggestions for what should be featured in the magazine. Thank you all so very much.

Beauty Blog Post Survey

Health Blog Post Survey

Fitness Blog Post Survey

Thank you’s and CUPCAKES!