Tales From A Hungry Life

April 8, 2015

Happy 5th Anniversary to Me

by Maria Schulz

Five years ago this April, I hit “publish” on my very first blog post. This was no small feat, since I had always been afraid to share my writing with the world at large. My high school English teachers were the first to point out that I had a knack for writing, but I didn’t always believe them. I ranked it right up there with my mother telling me I was beautiful. Who believes that?

My dad, uncle, and their friends from "the Hill," Queensborough Hill.

A photo from my very first post. My dad, uncle, and their friends from “the Hill,” Queensborough Hill.

 

Mr. Reines once told me: “Maria, you’re a writer! Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.” Mr. Brodsky was a bit more blunt: Β “Damn it, Maria, you’re not Emily Dickinson. Stop putting your stuff under the bed. Get it out there!” It only took me a few decades to follow his advice, but I’m glad I finally did.

I’ll admit it, there have been times when the old fear creeps in and I feel paralyzed. What if no one likes it? What if no one (gasp) laughs? What if I send this blog post out there, and absolutely NOTHING HAPPENS? What if I expose myself as a MORON? What if no one buys my book? Will I be able to keep my sense of humor about it? Here are my answers to those burning and idiotic personal questions:

How long before I'm on the cover with you?

How long before I’m on the cover with you?

1. No one may like my blog post, but I’m probably sitting here laughing as I write it, so at least it helped bring down my blood pressure for a few minutes

2. Again, someone laughed–me! The rest is gravy

Maybe Super Grover could hold my book

Maybe Super Grover could hold my book

3. What exactly do I think is going to happen? I haven’t gotten my 5 minutes with Oprah yet (except in my imagination) and the Tales From A Hungry Life balloon hasn’t gone live at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade either, but I’ve gotten lots of fun comments from people that are always hilarious and inspiring. So it’s all good.

4. I’m a writer. It would be moronic NOT to have opinions, ideas, or thoughts that I wanted to share. Yes, people have sent me mean comments and said my writing made them want to drink. Those words stung…but then I realized, maybe those comments were more about them then they were about me.

Now available on amazon.com

Now available on amazon.com

5. My book has been more successful than I had ever imagined, and I have my “platform” to thank for that. Platform is the word writers use to describe their social media presence. It reminds me of when I was in London some years ago and crazy people stood up on platforms and shouted out their ideas on a whole range of subjects in the public square. Yes, that describes my blog pretty well.

6. My sense of humor is still intact, thank you. It’s kind of like a very good friend that I keep by my side to cheer me on when I’m afraid that I can’t continue. It’s also nourished by my real (and not imaginary) friends who drop off gifts of crumb cake after I’ve posted something (Yes, Paula, I mean you).

I never thought I would still be blogging 5 years later. It’s not that I didn’t have something to say…it’s just that I wasn’t sure anyone would respond. For once, I’m happy to be wrong about something. This blog has been the place that I could write about things that meant something to me, and discover that I was not alone.

This cover still cracks me up

This cover still cracks me up

 

This is the place where I can write about the past–beloved pets, teachers, friends, and family. I can share the hilarious stories about my brothers (who are the best comedians I’ve ever known) and my well-meaning but very human parents. I could write about celebrities that I admired and those that passed on–Joan Rivers, Robin Williams, and of course, James Garner. Β I could also write about the present: movies I love, life as a Mom, PTA shenanigans, growing pains with my kids, love and laughter with my husband.

Always a great escape

Always a great escape

Over the past 5 years, I have experienced a kind of creative freedom that you can’t get just anywhere. When I post, I’m the boss: what I say goes. Of course, that doesn’t stop my boss from sometimes being critical and editing everything I do (what can I say, I’m a pain), but it’s made me a more committed and dedicated writer. I completed my first book, wrote a short story that was included in another book, and have started on my second book, and all of it happened because this blog gave me the confidence to work towards those dreams.

My story is in this book!

My story is in this book!

I’ve nurtured my blog through the early days when I wasn’t sure what I was doing and I’ve grown in confidence. If my blog was a child, it would be ready to go off to Kindergarten right about now. There are lots of fun days ahead. I’ll try to enjoy them, because the teen years are right around the corner.

Thanks to everyone who reads, comments, and shares my blog. I’m looking forward to the next five years and all of the new challenges and adventures that blogging will bring. As my niece Katie says, “this is going to be fun!”

As for you, Mr. Brodsky: I still have plenty of stuff piled under that bed. Thanks for encouraging me to share it with the world.

RECIPES:

buttery crumb cake

Crumb Cake

This recipe is outrageously buttery, but that’s what makes it good. Imagine my delight when my pal, Paula, dropped off a hunk of crumb cake for me one morning after she read that week’s blog post. If this is what fan mail is all about, I’m in.

100 Healthy Dessert Ideas

For those of you who need to satisfy your sweet tooth but want to go light, here are 100 healthy ideas from Cooking Light. These good-for-you treats include bourbon-glazed peaches with yogurt, blackberry merlot granita, carrot cake, and many more delicious options.

So, Hungry Lifers: have you ever done something outside of your comfort zone? Did it take you several decades to do it? What’s your favorite dessert recipe–either so bad it’s good or tastes great/good for you too? Please leave a comment and let us all know. Thanks!

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18 Comments »

  1. So glad you had the courage to press “publish” … it’s been a gift for all of us! πŸ™‚

    Comment by Christine Lagalante — April 8, 2015 @ 8:42 am | Reply

    • Thanks, Christine! What a nice thing to say. I’m very lucky to have supportive sisters-in-law like you!

      Comment by talesfromahungrylife — April 8, 2015 @ 6:12 pm | Reply

  2. Happy anniversary, Maria!

    Comment by doreenmoran — April 8, 2015 @ 9:08 am | Reply

  3. You give us all encouragement and a lot of good laughs, not to mention great recipes. Keep it up!

    Comment by Beth Goehring — April 8, 2015 @ 9:45 am | Reply

  4. I love reading what you write, Maria! Keep it up! Dust off those pages under the bed. πŸ™‚ Spruce them up and toss them out into the world. I look forward to your stories and recipes. Well, reading the recipes, anyway. I’m dangerous in the kitchen!

    Comment by wordimprovisor177 — April 8, 2015 @ 10:24 am | Reply

    • I love reading your work too, Darlene. So happy that your short story, My Fat Husband, is being published. You always encourage me–so thank you! I’m hoping we can have “virtual lunch” again soon…I’m working on the second book now. Maybe you can find an easy recipe in this book. πŸ™‚

      Comment by talesfromahungrylife — April 8, 2015 @ 6:18 pm | Reply

  5. Two mentions in one post!!!!! I’m famous again!! Still laughing at you (I mean with you) all this time. You must be doing something right!! I very much enjoyed the mad magazine cover. When I was a kid, aside from Bop and tiger beat it was my favorite magazine. Mostly because the humor was so smart. Guess you felt the same way! Great minds think alike!! Hmmm. What will my next fan mail be????😊😊😊😊

    Comment by Paula — April 8, 2015 @ 10:30 am | Reply

    • Mad Magazine was always my favorite magazine–the laughs just kept coming. If you’re wondering what kind of fan mail I’d like, don’t worry. I’m easy to please! And you’re right…great minds do think alike.

      Comment by talesfromahungrylife — April 8, 2015 @ 6:21 pm | Reply

  6. And just where did you guys get that sense of humor from? Maybe from your “….well meaning but very human parents…”? But most important about a sense of humor is to be able laugh at one’s self. Easy to laugh at what’s around you but not so easy to laugh at what’s inside of you. Keep writing but with an eye on a sit-com where I feel you would excel.

    Comment by Bglou — April 8, 2015 @ 1:50 pm | Reply

    • I love reading your blog Maria! ! Always brings me a smile! Also because of it, I read what turned out to be one of my favorite books; Molakai . I always look forward to your life experiences many of which bring me back……..

      Comment by Gina — April 8, 2015 @ 3:35 pm | Reply

      • Thanks, Gina. I’m so glad you loved Molokai…it’s one of my all-time favorites too! Thanks for being such a devoted, longtime reader of mine. I’m honored!

        Comment by talesfromahungrylife — April 8, 2015 @ 4:52 pm

    • Yes, I probably was influenced by my very funny, sharp-witted, and “very human” parents. Not to mention my grandparents, aunts/uncles, cousins, and friends. I’m glad we all got to laugh together. Thanks for your constant support. Five years ago, I thought it would just be a few people (including you and me) reading. I’m so glad we have company. πŸ™‚

      Comment by talesfromahungrylife — April 8, 2015 @ 6:24 pm | Reply

  7. You should be very proud of yourself Maria! Always look forward to the Wednesday morning blog post!

    Comment by Suzanne — April 8, 2015 @ 6:28 pm | Reply

    • Thanks, Suzanne! I always look forward to your comments. Thanks for reading and laughing along with me.

      Comment by talesfromahungrylife — April 8, 2015 @ 6:31 pm | Reply

  8. Maria, I am waiting to do something out of my comfort zone. Your blog and book show dedication and inspires me to think that you can start anew, in a direction that was not as easily seen because of all the excuses that we make up not to follow our hearts. Your writing in the present, that transcends back to the past, reminds me of the fun life has to offer. Your kindergartener has an old soul with a sense of humor. I can’t wait to see how this child grows up.

    Comment by Tony Lagalante — April 8, 2015 @ 7:12 pm | Reply

    • Thanks, Tony. For my next out-of-comfort-zone act, I will be appearing onstage at my local Karaoke bar. NOT! I’m happy to have inspired you. My old soul blog and I can’t wait to hear what you’ll be up to next!

      Comment by talesfromahungrylife — April 8, 2015 @ 7:29 pm | Reply


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