“One more round, girls… let the boy scouts hear you!” ~ Bette Midler
This is literally my final attempt at having a blog. If I don’t get it right this time, it’s never going to happen. More than anything in this life, I have always wanted to be a writer—and here I am once again—trying (even after going through all extreme mood battles of saying I was never going to write again). I am more than determined to become successful this final round, and get noticed as a true writer, my life’s destined goal. That’s all. I want to inspire people and also give them some of the best entertainment they’ve ever had….and maybe win some awards in there somewhere…and earn some money… and possibly make some movies in Hollywood…but mostly entertain and make people smile, laugh, happy, and feel all the emotions because there’s nothing better than that, really.
For the past almost 15ish years, I have had a thousand different websites under a million different names. Why? The only reason is because I get super bored and want to try to separate my thousands of interests to specialize in a few things gearing towards those who are interested in that subject, but it got to be way too much and close to stressful…even with all the cute names I’ve come up with over time. I am just interested in too many subjects and hobbies and work to ever really separate it. I can’t anymore. It’s virtually impossible. I guess trying to divide myself up just isn’t real or being real to myself or anyone else. And, if I continued the way that I was, I would have continued to drive myself crazy and everyone else insane (if you’re even attempting to keep up with me anymore). I am Karen Maeby, curiosity is my game, and it has not killed me… yet. But I’m sure it will. Eventually.
For many years I used to be what you would call a die-hard Pirate Girl living out the Jimmy Buffett lifestyle in St Pete Florida. I used to have a “Florida blue” 1993 Mercedes 190e and I would cruise down the beaches like I was hot stuff. Those were the days where I wrote stories and poetry from the beaches–spending a lot of time in Pass-a-Grille, Clearwater (for a year I lived across from Kristie Alley), and Indian Rocks Beach before I discovered St Pete and Gulfport. I published a book called “In Love With a Sailor” in 2013. In 2014 I published “The Captain in Me” and smashed them together to make two hundred poems of beach bum inspiration.
But now, at almost 8 years later, I have fully exhausted those feelings and the beach bum life has lost its luster, I have aspirations to run away to live in the city that never sleeps or turns off its lights (Vegas) to possibly become (some kind of) a show girl, work in hospitality, improve my theatre/writing/art skills, and do things I’ve never done before so I can return home to St Pete with experience from the big city and prove my worth to work and live out my destiny.
I’ve had many jobs starting out as management in various retail stores (fashion), administrative/office, and the last eight years have been in the marine industry. I have done everything from management to marketing to social media to billing to selling online to customer service and everything else in between. When I had my own business, I worked with mom & pop companies and helped out in industries I never thought I’d work. I have helped start a business from ground up (the first few years of living in FL), as well as helping close down a business (my very first paying job). I have to mention my first volunteer job was being a teacher’s aide from 7th grade to 12th grade. I took it very seriously, and gained so much office experience as well as experience for my future hobbies. So technically, I’ve been doing a lot of things that I still do now for almost 20 years. Ouch. …no wonder I’m so bored and I need change!
For me, almost every day is like an episode out of The Office, and I often break out into song (in my head) like I’m on Glee or something. There’s always a song for everything, especially if you’re a music person like I am. I have the attention span of a gnat, so the majority of my writing is usually poetry, one act plays (15 pages or less) or blog entries. In 2010–one of my biggest accomplishments–I finished NaNoWriMo all the way through… 50,000 words in 30 days. However, that novel has not been looked at in 9 years. Luckily, I wrote an outline of what was going to happen in book 2 & 3, but I don’t know how I would ever be able to return to that collective frame of mind. I have a ton of unfinished novels, several poetry books and plays that have been completed but yet to move from the computer or paper. I am hoping that in the next year I will be publishing some of my unpublished work and completely redoing what I had published before to re-publish again.
At least twenty times a day I find myself inspired by something and I have to write down notes for a future whatever-it-may-turn-out-to-be. I have over one hundred email drafts to myself, 300 iPhone notes, handwritten notes scattered in about 20 different notebooks and on random papers laying around. It’s amazing when I write something down, forget it about, release it (the butterfly story!) then have another thought months later about something else and it links right back to one of my previous thoughts making it whole. I am one of those people who is notorious for being a notebook hoarder and having to separate my many thoughts between ten thousand notebooks. I just can’t do simple, apparently. I am too much for some people, including myself, at times. Oh and not to mention the weirdness of how many pens/pencils make me write differently, so my handwriting is as sporadic as anything.
My main interests have followed me since middle school: music, theatre, photography, graphic design, reading, writing, any computer work basically, everything art. I’ve been an NPR nerd all my life, and I heard on one of the shows once, that the things you do around the middle school years will influence your entire life. That is very true, or at least in my case. I was that weird kid–obsessed with Mozart, taking notes about performance while watching award shows on TV, a severe book worm, diarist and listening to opera while everyone else my age was listening to Spice Girls and Backstreet Boys and NSync. I didn’t find out about the Spice Girls until several years later, and now, it’s like…. BAM! Spice up your life! And going back to NPR, I would get home from school around 4pm and listen to Fresh Air; on the weekends, it was This American Life, Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me, Prairie Home Companion, Splendid Table and who knows what else. I still live for those radio shows. I’ve also moved on to podcasts (another terrible hoarding addiction of mine… other than books, bags, notebooks and glitter).
I’ve recently fallen back in the groove of reading constantly by finishing a book every other night it seems. To be a writer, you have to be a reader. Or at least that’s what I’ve always been told. My reading habits are mostly true stories like true crime or history or auto/biographies/memoirs, essays, non-fictional sort of things. I do have some favorite subjects that I constantly read books about: Mozart, jazz era, Salem Witch Trials, anything music / theatre / some TV shows, city of Philly, Native American, Judaism, true crime. Things like that. I can tolerate some fiction (mysteries mostly). I’m super duper picky about reading poetry. I hate those stupid Harlequin Romances….It’s like being excited for the holiday movies on Hallmark, even though, you know the predictable outcome of each one. My most favorite author is Leslea Newman. I was excited to have found her, as I’ve never loved anyone’s work as much I do hers. Growing up, my favorite author was RL Stine.
So all in all, you may think I’m very chatty by my writing, but I’m really a (very, very, very moody & pick-up-on-all-feelings/energy) introverted extrovert. If that’s even a thing. Or maybe it’s the other way around. Working in theatre has lifted me about 85% out of the shadows, but I still retreat very quickly to my shell like a hermit crab when I feel threatened or shy or just need a break from the world. I do sit back and watch and listen. Everyone is my inspiration… of who I want to become like and not. So behave nicely, as you’ll be an example of mine. And, even if it may seem I share a lot or very open when I get to know you, I am still a very, very, very private person. If you don’t believe me, start asking around. When you think you’ve figured me out, I go and change yet again. One more thing: I am slightly psychic…. so I have a ton of dreams that predict things before it happens, and my intuition is very strong. When I say something is completely meant to be, trust me on this one, it is…even if it doesn’t happen right away. I have enough proof.
My life is filled with lots and lots of love from friends and family and the things I do in my life. I am excited to be writing again because I have missed discussing my Jewish journey which is the most important thing to me. If you don’t know it already, I converted to Judaism on Anne Frank’s birthday (6/12/2019) and it’s one of my best/proudest/happiest moments… and it feels like I’ve started a brand new life, as I’m trying to tie up the last bit of the loose ends from my previous one. Other things that are going to show up in my writing: animals (especially my hermit crabs), lgbtq rights/etc (and all of the events I participate in), events I work or attend, all things art-ish, updates on hobbies or interests, experiences, previous trips, and so much more….. I’m going to try to stick with a schedule of writing this time around so you know what to expect on certain days… and I am hoping to start promoting some of my work that I’ll be publishing/republishing eventually. We’ll see. All you need to know, really, is that I’m a lot of random tossed in a gigantic pile of chaos and I use a lot of sarcasm (see this comic sans font?) that’s why my AIM name was illegalsarcasm. Is AIM even still a thing?… Last but not least, I’m fighting very badly with technology right now, so this may be the death of me. Maybe I’ll even write about it and haunt you from my how-to-become-less-technical grave.
Until next time,
Karen Maeby (Ahava)