Three-Year Blogging Anniversary

This past week marked the Off Balanced blog’s three-year anniversary. That seems crazy to me. So much from 2011 feels like yesterday. Yet here you and I sit. Well, I’m sitting. Maybe you will read this standing up or lying down. I can’t know that. Enough dickering over such detail though! Allow me to get back on-topic.

Three years ago I stated the following as my blogging goal.

“Blog-wise the title ‘Off Balanced’ still works as a pun, indicating my blog’s goal to throw misconceptions about cerebral palsy and other disabilities off balance. I plan to address these different preconceived notions in detail while also introducing you to various individuals I’ve had the opportunity as a disability beat writer to learn about and interact with over the past few years.”

Happy Three-Year Blogging Anniversary

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Admittedly I lost my focus some. Last year I used my blog here to keep myself publicly accountable for my 2013 New Year resolutions. Good stuff I believe but at the same time mostly irrelevant to cerebral palsy.

My admission brings about questions regarding Off Balanced the blog’s future. Should I re-focus on my blog’s initial goal? Or, do I move forth carrying a more open-ended attitude with subject matter? The latter may lead to moving my blog to www.zacharyfenell.com, which I’m planning a complete makeover for anyways.

Reader feedback will help me make a more confident decision. Give your input by commenting below, letting me know what you prefer to see from me. Thanks in advance for your thoughts!

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Presenting The Sunshine Award

Last month Words I Wheel By blogger Emily Ladau nominated me for something called The Sunshine Award. Basically The Sunshine Award completes two tasks. First readers get to learn more about the recipient. Secondly the selected blogger receives the opportunity to spotlight fellow bloggers he or she feel make tremendous contributions to the blogging community.

Now after reading through other Sunshine Award posts I noticed some small discrepancies in the rules. Seeing how Emily nominated me though, I decided to abide by the rules she listed.

  • Acknowledge the nominating blogger (Thanks again Emily!)
  • Share 11 random facts about you.
  • Answer the 11 questions the nominating blogger has created for you.
  • List 11 bloggers. They should be bloggers you believe deserve some recognition and a little blogging love!
  • Post 11 questions for the bloggers you nominate to answer and let all the bloggers know they’ve been nominated. You cannot nominate the blogger that nominated you.

11 Random Facts About Me

  1. I volunteer regularly at the Euclid Adult Activities Center, a Cuyahoga County Board of Developmental Disabilities branch.
  2. Travel Souvenirs

    My travel souvenir collection.

    To commemorate the places I travel to, I collect drink glasses/shot glasses (pretty much shot glasses)

  3. I’m left-handed.
  4. In junior high I failed to make our school’s Power of the Pen team. These days I’m a professional writer, goes to show never give up! 🙂
  5. When I sported a goatee and buzz cut this past summer multiple people told me I resembled Breaking Bad character Walter White (played by Bryan Cranston).
  6. The first concert I attended came in 2006 when I saw Styxx perform at Blossom Music Center.
  7. I’m a Taurus.
  8. In fifth grade I wrote a report on assisted suicide, specifically focusing on Dr. Kevorkian. Thinking back, that’s pretty heavy material for a 10-year old to study.
  9. Cleveland Indians memorabilia covered my childhood bedroom’s walls.
  10. Writing led me to drinking coffee. I needed the extra caffeine boost one time to meet a deadline.
  11. You can learn more about my professional writing by visiting www.zacharyfenell.com.

Answers to Emily’s Questions

1. What causes are you most passionate about? Generally speaking I’m passionate about making a difference in other people’s lives. I want to serve as a catalyst for positivity.

2. What project is on your to-do list that you keep meaning to finish? I must say making Off Balanced available in paperback form.

3. What are you having for dinner tonight? Well, I ate enchiladas.

4. Facebook or Twitter? Both (Friend me on Facebook, Follow me on Twitter) 😉

5. If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go? I think I would take a summer road trip across the United States.

6. Apple cider or hot chocolate? Hot chocolate unless we are talking about Halloween. I have pleasant memories sipping apple cider Halloween night after returning from trick-or-treating.

7. Favorite cake flavor? Ice cream cake

8. Why did you start blogging? I saw the potential networking opportunities involved with blogging.

9. Windows or Apple? I like to eat apples by the window…. just joking! Windows

10. Dogs or Cats? Dogs

11. Who would you most like to have dinner with, dead or alive? I think a family dinner with my relatives who have passed away possesses the potential for the most memorable dinner.

The Sunshine Award

Photo: Olga Pavlovsky from Cambridge, UK

Announcing the 11 blogs I find deserving for The Sunshine Award,

1. Teen Cerebral Palsy

2. Stand Tall Through Everything

3. Think Inclusive

4. Abler.

5. The Inclusive Class

6. WHEELIE cATHOLIC

7. Making My Mark

8. Jewish Special Needs

9. My Life, One Story at a Time

10. Kim Garst

11. Cewsh Reviews

Blogs one through eight all deal with disabilities in one fashion or another. Seeing how my interests transcend disabilities I purposely picked blogs representing a few other interests (My Life, One Story at a Time- reading, Kim Garst- social media, Cewsh Reviews- professional wrestling).

To those bloggers I nominated below you will find my questions for you, if you so choose to participate in The Sunshine Award deal.

11 Questions to Nominated Bloggers

1. What’s the most memorable birthday card you ever received?

2. How often do you vote (every election, only Presidential elections, not at all)? No need to share your party affiliation!

3. Fill in the blank: Butter is to bread as __________ is to me.

4. What was the best concert you ever been to?

5. Forget whether the glass is half full or half empty. What is in the glass?

6. How does country music make you feel?

7. What is your go-to spot for a fun night out?

8. What characteristic makes your very best friends stand out from your other friends?

9. Name the last great book you read.

10. Finish this sentence: When I hear someone reference Wikipedia I _______.

11.  What ordinary food item would you like Malley’s Chocolates to cover in chocolate?

One Year of Blogging, Reflection

One year ago today I launched this blog, aiming to build anticipation towards my then forthcoming book Off Balanced. Now I entered this endeavor knowing I wanted to do more than just talk Off Balanced and myself. After all, I think we all at some point come across a self-centered and egotistical cyber user who posts about nothing but him. That’s not who I desire to be. Instead my goal focuses around the blog’s tagline.

“Putting the ‘cerebral’ in cerebral palsy”

In other words, I wish to stimulate discussions on cerebral palsy and disabilities in general. Using reader feedback as a barometer, mission so far accomplished. For instance, take the Off Balanced post from April 3rd “Sixth Grade Choir Photograph, Evidence of Discrimination?” Some users commented enraged at me for “excusing” what happened to Alex. Others thanked me, appreciating my refusal to rush judgment. Me, I enjoyed seeing a passionate conversation occur.

Another highlight involves blogging via WordPress. I never really used WordPress before so the platform’s different tools intrigued me. I especially like how WordPress can track traffic based off search engine inquiries. One post which seems to acquire continuous visitors thanks to search engine inquires, “Breaking Down Barriers with the Mentally Challenged.” Searches revolving around how to treat mentally handicap individuals lead to these views. Hopefully readers find my insights shared helpful.

Glancing ahead I look forward to continuing this blog and continuing “putting the ‘cerebral’ in cerebral palsy.” Of course besides starting engaging dialogue regarding cerebral palsy (which Off Balanced the book also aims to do), I will keep using this blog to inform readers on my book’s latest happenings.

Off Balanced offers a different perspective to life with cerebral palsy, a social one.