Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Featured Blogger - Mandy from Mandyland

Today's featured blogger is Mandy from In Mandyland.

1. Tell us about yourself: I always have a hard time with this question. What do I say that’s not going to come across like a personal ad? Do I mention that I love long walks on the beach? What about candlelight and wine?

I’m a 35-year-old wife and mother of two who lives on the Central Coast of California. I don’t mind saying I’m 35, because, while I’m still in denial, a part of me is in awe that I’m an adult. My children are four and 18 months. They have red hair and blue eyes even though my husband and I both have brown hair and brown eyes. Cue mailman jokes.

I’m pretty much who I appear to be on my blog. Just with more recipe disasters and not quite as organized. And shorter. People always say I'm shorter than they expect. I have a pretty good sense of the absurd and choose to look at life as a cosmic comic adventure. One of the greatest compliments I’ve received was from my husband when he said, “You can really laugh at yourself.”

Self-deprecating humor? I’ve got it down.

2. Give us a 30-second elevator pitch about your blog: I like to say there’s a little something for everyone In Mandyland. I write about my life, which is chaotic and varied and filled with amazing people who don’t mind if I blog about them. I’ve been called a humor blogger, a mommy blogger and a food blogger. I was once called a garden blogger until someone actually read one of my gardening posts and realized that I kill virtually everything in my garden.

3. What are you doing when you are not blogging?: I’m usually doing things that I’ll later blog about. I work part-time, have two kids, a husband and a dog that keep me busy. I garden, can, craft, knit, sew, pretend I know how to cook, dabble in photography, camp, meet with friends, read, watch movies, throw popcorn at reality TV, tweet like a mad woman, play video games and sometimes, when the moon is full, make jewelry – none of it very impressive.

And just so you don’t think I’m trying to be Martha Stewart, please realize that I never do two things at once. This means that the kids eat dinners of Kraft mac and cheese on the nights that I’m obsessed by a sewing project. And when I’m reading a really good book? Pizza is on speed dial.

4. Who is your favorite literary character?: I had such a huge crush on Atticus Finch when I was younger. Okay. Who am I kidding? I still have a huge crush on him. What’s not to love? He’s smart, he’s dedicated, he stands up for his beliefs and values but isn’t so idealistic as to be unrealistic. I could (and have) read To Kill A Mockingbird so many times, I’m going to need a new copy soon. And every time I finish the book, I give a little sigh and swoon. Well, I don’t really swoon, but I do close my eyes for a moment and smile.

My husband knows all about my secret crush. For some reason, he’s not too worried.

5. What brought you to TRDC and what is your biggest goal in writing?: I kept seeing The Red Dress Club button on some of my favorite blogs. I was a little (a lot) intimidated by the writing the first time I looked through a link up. But then, one night, after drinking a glass (or two) of wine, I decided to jump in with both feet. I’m so glad I did!

My biggest goal in writing is, of course, to be published. Who doesn’t want that? I’ve been held back by a bit of fear, a dash of insecurity and a smidge of procrastination. What I love about TRDC is that it makes me less afraid. It pushes me to write on a deadline. The prompts challenge me and make me a better writer. And, best of all, it’s boosted my fragile ego to the point that I now walk around the house telling everyone to call me Mommy, the Greatest Author of All Time.

No one is listening. Yet.

6. If you could only save one post in a fire, what would it be and why?: That’s the Kobayashi Maru of blogging! (Trekki alert.) But if I absolutely had to, I’d cheat and save two posts – my children’s birth stories. I blogged them immediately after I came home from the hospital and put as much detail as my muddled, sleep-deprived brain could remember. I’m so glad I did! Now, when I re-read them, I’m taken right back to those days, with all the thoughts and emotions that were tumbling through my head at the time.

Joseph's birth story

Elizabeth's birth story

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