When I told Scott this, he immediately responded with “But Katrina…we don’t have any tequila.”
I snapped back with “I WILL BUY TEQUILA IN ORDER TO MAKE FRIENDS! IN FACT, I MIGHT HAVE EVEN REACHED THE POINT WHERE I WOULD BUY ILLEGAL DRUGS FROM COLUMBIA TO MAKE FRIENDS!!”
His eyes grew wide and his voice dropped low. “Relax. I thought you meant they were coming over tonight. I was just pointing out that we didn’t have any tequila in the house right now, and that the liquor store is probably closed.”
“Oh.” I muttered sheepishly.
“But I’m proud of you.” he continued. “Proud that you would actually consider buying drugs from Columbia. I mean…you used to be such a, well…goody two-shoes. You’ve come along way.”
I suppose that’s one way of looking at it.
So why did I start this blog back in April of 2011? It all started when Scott bought me this hilarious book as an anniversary gift. Yes, I realize a book with fuzzy slippers on the front cover may not seem like the most appropriate gift for celebrating three years of marriage, but believe it or not, this small token served a catalyst that helped initiate a major change my life.
As I read Jen Lancaster’s account of her ridiculous antics and struggle to become more culturally sophisticated, I found that I really identified with the idea behind her memoir. I’ve always loved telling stories about my life, and used to be quite passionate about writing. In fact, at the tender age of six, I decided I wanted to become an author.
The genesis of this ambition grew out of a homework assignment given by my first grade teacher at the elementary school in Seward, Alaska. Remember those horizontal pieces of paper where the top had space for an illustration, and the bottom had lines for writing? We were handed one of those, and asked to write a short story about our family’s pet, complete with a hand-drawn picture.
This is where my six-year-old, OshKosh B’Gosh-wearing self started to panic.
I was the only student in the class who didn’t have a pet.
Too afraid to inform my teacher of my unfortunate circumstances, as I feared it would guarantee an “N” (Needs improvement, the first-grade equivalent of an “F”), I decided I would instead, turn my two-year-old twin brothers into the domestic animals I knew they truly were.
“My Pet Twins” was the story of how I attempted to put a leash on my younger brothers and teach them to do tricks. There may have also been an anecdote about training them not to poop on the carpet. I created a magnificent illustration of them wearing dog collars and ended up using five additional sheets of paper to finish the story.
The day after we handed our assignments in, my teacher pulled me aside, telling me she wanted to talk about the story I had written. I could feel the color draining from my face. I had blown it. Surely, I should have known two-year-old twins don’t count as pets! What was I thinking?!
The teacher then informed me that she loved my story and wondered if I would mind reading it in front of the class.
And I did. With a smug little smirk on my face as I sat atop the designated reading stool and relished eighteen pairs of tiny little eyes on me. Particularly the eyes of the new girl from Alabama who had recently stolen my very first boyfriend. Sure, she could claim Owen as her “man candy”, but did she get to sit atop the coveted reading stool and talk about nearly asphyxiating her younger brothers with a makeshift dog leash? No. No she did not.
From this moment on, I knew I wanted to be an author. I was reading and writing constantly, and even majored in English – Creative Writing in college. Ultimately, I ended up going to graduate school and studying New Media. I currently work as a Senior Web Designer, which I absolutely love. I’m blessed to work for one of the best organizations in the world, am creatively challenged and stimulated. The fact that all of my coworkers double as dear friends doesn’t hurt either.
But reading Jen’s book made me wonder why I couldn’t have it all. Wouldn’t it be possible for me to be an author and a web designer? I didn’t see why not.
Within a few months, I had come up with a solid book proposal. After doing minimal research, I sent the proposal to the literary agent in New York who represented Jen Lancaster and waited for a reply.
A month later, I heard back from the agent. They were interested in my book!
I was ecstatic.
Until I read the part about them wanting me to submit the first 100 pages before they made a decision.
So far, I only had the first twenty pages.
For the next week, I spent evenings after work writing like a maniac. I cranked out as many words as I could, and finally submitted 103 pages by the end of the week. Ultimately, the agent ended up passing on my work, yet he had renewed the sense of hope that I could do this. I could be an author.
I started thinking about the reasons the agent had turned down my sample chapters. First and foremost, I had rushed myself and probably submitted sub-par content in the interest of meeting a deadline. I also suspect that, in true Katrina fashion, there may have been a few spelling and grammar errors. But mostly, I was out of practice with my writing. I needed to get back in touch with my voice, and write on a daily basis.
Enter the blog formerly known as Seattle is Sexy!
Blogging would certainly get me back on the writing horse, help me improve my grammatical prowess, and give me a chance to get instant feedback on my work. Most importantly, I could develop a following through blogging. I had recently come across an alarming statistic that over ninety percent of published books sell less than 5,000 copies. 5,000 copies! I didn’t want to invest so much of myself into something that only a very few people would ever encounter or appreciate. Blogging seemed like a great way ease myself into the world of becoming a legitimate, succesful author.
Little did I know how much I would adore blogging. I can write about whatever I want, upload ridiculous pictures, and engage with a community of like-minded people who enjoy having a good laugh at the absurd situations I find myself in. Blogging provided me the freedom to publish whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted. Most importantly, it introduced me to all of you! I cannot begin to describe how much the community we have created here has enriched my life. You guys seriously bring me so much joy.
Once Scott and I moved to Minnesota, I had much more time to pour into blogging. My social calendar was…well…empty, and working from home meant I no longer spent two hours a day commuting. I resolved to spend those the two extra hours blogging, and begun posting on a daily basis. In about three months, my page views had multiplied six times over, and I had grown from 8 subscribers to over 260! I still have to pinch myself when I think about how far this little blog has come!
Sure, this is still a very small blog in the grand scheme of things, but watching something I care about grow as a result of hard work has been incredibly rewarding. While ‘Sota is Sexy started out as “practice” for a book, it has quickly transformed into something I love and cherish, something I’m passionate about. Something that I’m excited to invest in every single day.
In fact, after a few short months of blogging, I had completely forgotten about my ambition to write a book. Blogging was so much more manageable…I only had to write a little bit each day, and I could even incorporate photos, captions and videos. Plus, there were all the added perks of commenting, integration with social media, and networking with other bloggers. Blogging was way more fun that writing a book had been.
Basically, I lost site of the original goal.
Since this February, I have been posting every single day. I also have a full-time job where I put in at least 40 hours a week. Not to mention the fact that I teach 4-5 group exercises classes each week and have a husband, a dog, and an extremely time-consuming shopping habit.
This doesn’t leave me with much time for working on a book.
My solution? I’ve decided to continue to post on the blog every weekday, reserving the weekends for writing my book. I love blogging way too much to let it go, but I also don’t want to give up on my original dream. A dream of seeing something I wrote about sneaking a chihuahua into the supermarket printed in an actual, real-life, hopefully hardcover but probably paperback book.
Please don’t laugh at my dream.
So, look for five posts a week. And hopefully look for my soon-to-be published memoir, the first chapter of which depicts the time I had to fish Scott’s credit card out the public dog poop trash can he mistakenly threw it in before taking it upstairs, scrubbing it with a toothbrush, and continuing on with a normals day’s work….which obviously, was designing a website about sex positions.
I wish I was joking.