I Totally Know.

Yes, I know. I know, I know, I know. My “friend” told me just yesterday that I’m most likely going to blogger hell for ignoring all of you and failing to post for upwards of a month. Can’t a girl take a vacation?

Ha ha ha. Because I’m just working full time and organizing camp schedules and writing a book and trying to get an agent and volunteering as communications director for a military spouse organization and carting cars full of saddles to horse shows and  … did I mention Husband is gone for all of this?

Fine. I know, I know, I know. I KNOW.

Search Term Madness

March Madness 2012KW, this is for you baby … I know you love these.

As most of you know thanks to the wonders of my blog host, WordPress, I can see the search terms that people use to get to this site. Now for people who write for SEO content, or want to drive traffic to their site, this is useful and informative gibberish that causes them to do magical things with the words they use for future posts. But for me, it’s just straight up entertainment. And it’s a good reminder that you should never use the words “panty” and “bling” in the same sentence.

Whoopsie that’s going to get 50 hits from the folks over at lit-her-hotica dot com for sure.

Anyway, last year around this time I wrote a post entitled “How To Pick Your Bracket Like a Girl.” I wrote it mostly because I am one, and it’s a problem for so many people just like me each year, and because I’ve developed a system. So it was like a public service announcement in a way.  And it got a ton of hits, including a link from a guy who writes for Sports Illustrated and ESPN sometimes, so I was thinking it was pretty popular despite the infantile and sarcastic title which, apparently, is a search term men use to answer this question. I had no idea it would see so much attention again this year.

I learned differently as I looked at my statistics for last night, Super Sunday. It was search after search of variations on the big question: How do I win my office pool? And as I read along I found … well I really don’t want to ruin it for you, so I’m just going to show you what I found last night. Because sometimes, a picture really is worth a thousand words.

Read slowly. Savor the moment …

seo can be funny

At midnight last night this was hysterically funny. In fact, I laughed so hard husband was just staring at me like I had an incurable disease (which I did, which was the giggles). But one of these things is NOT like the others. So thanks for looking guinea pig fashion lovers of the world, and thanks for making my night! Hope you found what you were looking for.

Happy Monday, everyone else. Hope this gave you a laugh with your morning coffee.

P.S. If you don’t already know why I have such a swill of love and disdain for the little pig rodents that inhabit a cage in my house, here’s how it all started: The Good, The Bad, and the Guinea. And here’s the guinea pig care package: Surprise! And here’s my favorite guinea pig post of all time: Guinea in the Manger.

Benchmarked

over 45,000Wow, last night the blog went over 45,000. I am shocked and awed by you guys. Thanks for reading and for coming back!

This week I was asked to be part of an interview about military spouses that write blogs about their emotions. I guess some good can come from letting it all hang out there, afterall. Then I was asked to make a pitch to a magazine doing a series about channeling your efforts during adversity into something positive like writing or starting a nonprofit. And then the blog went over 45,000.

I guess what I’m trying to say is thankyou.

I literally got online one day, researched the term “best blog hosting platform” and wrote a post. And kept writing. You guys did the rest, and somehow, you keep coming back for more.

Today’s post is on the Milspouse page, as it is every Friday. Until next week, please accept my heartfelt thanks for generating the momentum that has kept me writing this last ten months.

Aw, I love you guys!

[read the Milspouse page]

[make a “witty little comment” about this post]

Ten Thousand!

It happened. While I was sleeping, it happened. Witty Little Secret officially passed 10,000 hits. Ten thousand. Do you even know how many that is? I was hoping to break 10,000 some time in the month of December. Well, HELLO DECEMBER! Christmas came early ’round here. Thank you for my wonderful gift, readers. Ten thousand hits in 75 days of blogging. I absolutely love it. It’s just what I’ve always wanted.

It’s way better than getting the statistical finger.

The Preschooler is still down with what I’m guessing is the flu … so I do not have a post today. But I do have some great news to share with you tomorrow. Really great news. So even though it’s Christmas, and even though I’m busy, and even though you’re busy, and even though our worlds are spinning … if there was ever a day to come back and read, it’s tomorrow.

I can’t wait to tell you! It’s kinda like … I dunno … Christmas!

P.S. Do you like the snow?

I’ll Take Scars Over The Living Dead Anyday

One of the best things about getting so much publicity this week was the glorious parting of the blogworld clouds. You see, I don’t read blogs. It’s sacrilege, I know. But most are so chock full of typos and chalkboard-screetching syntax that I’m pathetically unable to hear the art and beauty of expression through even minor grammatical errors. Or, as Husband would say, “gramarrical errors.” (It’s okay, I already loved him when I found out he couldn’t spell or speak properly so I’ve learned to deal with it.)

And here comes another big fat confession right here, right now: I really don’t read at all any more. It’s really sinful for a writer to say such a thing. I’ve got Karen Kingsbury’s “Between Sundays” on my nightstand, which I love. So far. But it’s been there for four months because I failed to finish it on a flight – an international flight. I tell myself it’s because I read statutes and legal cases all day, so the retinas are exhausted when I get home. But honestly fiction just doesn’t do it for me. I’m drawn instead to ridiculous combinations of self help titles:

  • Marathoning for Mortals
  • Your $100,000 Dream Job
  • Write it Down, Make it Happen
  • Spanish Phrasebook II
  • Radical
  • Love and Logic
  • Simplify Your Life

Yeah, I get the irony of that last one. The best part is that I purchased most of these in the same shopping trip.

I do read all of your comments, though! In fact yesterday as I read and reread the comments you all left (I love compliments), I also perused lots of new blogs. A comment about being in a hospital room led me to visit “transplanted thoughts,” the blog of a mom with multiple kids diagnosed with a genetic disorder. She recently started her blog after baby boy #4 had been in the hospital for two months. I was there in the virtual hospital room with her until 1 am wondering how she was going to do this all again tomorrow.

Humor is obviously my coping mechanism of choice. But the things I write about here are very minimal invasions of my comfort and repose. Even Husband’s absence is just temporary. It’s true that most days Preschooler is dragging me by my wit’s end to the precipice of insanity. But it’s the usual well-defined precipice and there’s a pretty cushy landing down below. Reading about four little boys fighting genetic diseases and the dedication of their brave mom reminded me of something I had forgotten. It shocked me back to The Preschooler’s first six weeks of life, and it made me overjoyed that he even possesses the ability to dangle me from the ledge at all.

Because back then, we were facing a big ugly word: diagnosis. It turned out to be so very minor that we will probably never even tell The Preschooler that he suffers from a latin phrase of relatively meaningless effect (that’s a story for another day). But I can remember how the world swirled around us as if life was actually going on for other people. I remember how wrong it felt to lay awake exhausted while my newborn slept. I remember how we carted our bundle back and forth to the geneticist, only to sit for hours in lobbies with bald kids and their paperfaced mothers. I remember standing with my eyes closed in relief as Husband volunteered to hold the baby down under the X-ray machine this time. I remember sitting in a dark room with only a computer screen flickering for hours on end, using my legal research skills to become a medical expert. I remember waiting to be ushered into a room full of people in white coats to review bone scans. And I remember the day he didn’t move or whimper any more after they pricked him for a little blood.

*  *  *

A good friend (who actually reads fiction and writes like a Yale-educated scholar) once tweeted a book quote that has always stuck with me … “scars only grow on the living.” And you know what? That’s so right. Otherwise, they’re just fatal wounds, or at very best you’re the living dead. Scars are a pleasant and valuable alternative to death. And I really don’t wanna be a Zombie. That swirling first six weeks created only a tiny scrape on my heart that could have been debilitating. I want to remember it – all of it.

sleepy headSo in case you forget, I just want you to know that I love you Preschooler. I love that you are here. I love that you do the naked dance in the rain on the back porch for dinner guests over my objection. I love that you launch yourself between the two couches, taking the great circle route across the glass table for good measure. I love that you think it’s okay to broadcast the pet names of your private parts, loudly, in public places likely to contain old ladies. And yes, I even love that your curiosity concerning bodily functions often leads you into perilous territory.

Maybe I will read more fiction, after all. Maybe fiction has more value than I give it credit for. And maybe I’ll learn to read past the misplaced semicolons and the punctuation outside the quotation marks (but probably not). Either way, I read on this day, and on this day I was glad for it. And really, this day is all we can hope for.

Don’t be a Zombie, friends. That scar you’ve got proves something: you lived. Wear it well.

Freshly Repressed

If you were somehow trapped under a rock, admitted to the hospital for a rare debilitating (but short in duration) disease, did not see one of my blubbering Facebook posts, or were not one of the seven random strangers who I held hostage to discuss “blogging” yesterday, then you may not know that Monday’s post from Witty Little Secret was featured on probably the leading blog publishing website, known as WordPress. Yay for WordPress! Yay for Witty Little Secret! *Shivers*

One of the most rewarding moments was realizing that I had real live spam. Bona-fide Russian, Singaporian, Levitra-selling spam. Point of fact, I got more of that delectable canned meat in one day than total words I’ve written so far. I must admit, I very nearly approved my personal favorite just to memorialize the event. It read, “I pronounced to remember it as a cyclopean investment; an agency gambler in cleaner feet.”  Isn’t it beautiful? It could have been written by Hemingway himself.

So this must be what hittin’ the big-time feels like, folks. I know, you’re jealous. In a few short hours over four thousand people found their way to ooo and aah over my one month-old baby blog. Four thousand. I can’t even envision what four thousand people in one room looks like. (Really, I can’t. I don’t do numbers. But I know it’s a lot.)

wordpress family blogs

The main portal to Wordpress is this checkered recommendation of ten or so featured posts, collectively entitled “Freshly Pressed.”  Every blogger enters the site here, to peruse the charmed, hypothesize about why the editors loved these stories, and plot their own schemes to get noticed. Frankly, why in the world this editor liked Witty Little Secret is a complete mystery to me. I always assumed these were big-time blogs with lots of notoriety and attention, not one-woman diaries lacking in readership and containing inane subjects explained without proper punctuation leading to incredibly long superfluous hyphen-rich but often well-understood sentences. I never dreamed I’d see my blog on that marquee, not in a bajillion years. I realized for the first time that somebody other than my mother was actually interested in reading this thing.

That’s when it happened …

“What if they come back? What if I’m not funny tomorrow? What if they DON’T come back? What if I never get noticed again? Did I really fritter away my one morning of fame by standing in front of the courthouse in the rain bragging to that smelly guy wearing a tinfoil hat? Why did he call me Winnifred? What if Oprah calls? Should I go on a crash diet? Who’ll watch the kids? Do I need a publicist? Should I let the Wall Street Journal know?”

And then, no matter how hard I tried, I absolutely could not write. I’m pretty sure it was an undiagnosed case of performance anxiety. I was willing, but my body would not cooperate. Now that I was famous, there were expectations. Responsibilities. Duties. I was suffocating, crushed by the weight of my own fame. I was frantically emptying my pockets, looking for that little blue pill that would relieve me of my problem. And then, it hit me. I just needed to check my stats.

That’s right. The girl who hates numbers l-o-v-e-s her stats. Because when your blog is doing well, you just l-o-v-e to look at yourself in the mirror. See, WordPress gives you these pretty pictures that represent site visits, with racy colors and lots of buttons. It’s all so very sexy. This was definitely going to get me in the mood to write. I made my plan. I would look around, admire my huge bar, see where my voyeurs, er, visitors were coming from, and close my eyes. I would imagine them reading my posts, throwing their heads back in laughter, “Ah ha haha, you’re sooooooo witty! I just can’t wait to read your next post!”

I was getting frothed up. Yeah. I was gonna like it … and you know what I got?

bird flipping statistics

Bird-flipping Fame Karma

That’s right. The finger. My stats flipped me the freakin bird.

What’s the meaning of this!? It charmed me, flirted even. It loved me and threw me away like a truck stop whore. I felt used. Abused. Dirty.

Blogland, listen up. Let this be a lesson to you all. You wanna know where you end up the day after your one night stand with Freshly Pressed? You’re a has-been on the blogging-room floor, flipped off by your own graphic numerical representation thingys. You’re a reveller of distant memories, you’re Delta Dawn, longing for your long-lost lover, doomed to walk the halls of the courthouse regaling the day you were published and adored by the world. It’s a fleeting moment, friends. Take it in, breathe deeply and smell the cyber attention. Hold it there as long as you can, exhaling only after you realize that once it’s gone, you’ll be left with the one and only thing you have left in this world:

your own words.

VOTY Reader