Let’s Connect: Tell me about yourself

I’ve been feeling pretty overwhelmed with all the changes that have been happening.  For those of you who’ve followed this blog for a while, you know I have severe anxiety and one of the triggers is ‘change’.

I’ve received some very supportive comments and messages that have helped.  It reminded me just how incredible the Blogging and Writing community are.

So I thought I’d do another “Let’s Connect” post. 


I’ve been blogging (technically) for over 5 years.  Though I didn’t start being consistent and organised until 2017.

In this time I have met some incredible people who share my writing and blogging journey.

They have been the voices of support and inspiration.  Some have even become truly dear friends who I connect with regularly, outside of this blog.

Yet there are even more bloggers and readers I’ve started to connect with and I’d love to learn more about you all.

Tell me something about yourself

  • Where are you from?
  • What’s a fun fact about yourself?
  • What are your hobbies?
  • How are you finding 2019?
  • or anything else you want to tell me

Share something, anything, in the comments below.  You don’t need to have a WordPress account to leave comments, though please note all comments are moderated so if you are new to my blog your comment may not appear until I approve it (keeps the spammers from taking over!)

If however, you are shy you can always use the Contact Form to reach out.

Share your Thoughts image.

Happy writing

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50 thoughts on “Let’s Connect: Tell me about yourself

  1. Hi Ari, hope you’re settling in to your new home! Moving home is a real biggie, so much to do and I suspect far more complex now than 20 years ago. 20 years ago was when me and my hubby moved from down south near Cheltenham, UK up to the scottish Borders. (though born in Durham) And I was kind of reborn, embracing for the first time properly my inner artist and now my writer side. I don’t have children, so it was vital to me that I pursued my dreams of living in a cottage in the country and doing my art. Well, I got there.

    It hasn’t been all plain sailing, there aren’t many opportunities here for artists…but i’ve kept plugging away. Doing an OU degree was the best thing ever as it spurred me on to become a writer. Hobbies include blogging about the creative life, gardening, lots of walking with a bit of running, and masses of reading, plus some volunteering in social care. Learning to use social media has been a huge learning curve but i’ve met, like you, some fascinating and generous hearted people.

    And on a personal note, I’ve been hugely impressed with the way you operate your blog and social media – you set a fantastic example! Cheers for now :>)

    1. Hi Lynne, thanks for your message. Yes we are slowly settling in though I am just dying to get all the boxes emptied and make it as homely as possible.

      Your home sounds lovely, I know how beautiful it is at the Scottish borders. Do you still love it as much as you did when you moved?

      I’m so pleased you were able to pursue writing and I’m glad the OU helped. I did the OU as I wanted a degree, however sadly I was halfway through when the change happened re the fees and my modules went from a few hundred pounds to over a thousand and I just couldn’t manage it as I was just beyond the threshold of financial support, but not earning enough to have 1000s to “spare”. Oh well, maybe one day

      One thing about our new house is we have a nice flat garden and it’s ALL OURS! 😀 I love gardening and nature and encouraging the birds to visit but in a rented property there is only so much you can do. I can’t wait to get the garden all sorted and just watch it grow 😀

      How lovely that you volunteer your time for such a worthy cause. You definitely like to keep busy.

      Aww thank you kindly, Lynne. That was so nice of you. I feel there was a LOT of trial and error regarding the blog and social media but I’m glad it’s working out and your words truly made my day.

      1. Yes, I can imagine how those boxes demand your attention! I love the beginning of a new home in this way. To answer your question, yes we are still happy here 20 years on. Sometimes we think about where we would go instead, but what we would be happy with elsewhere would probably be unaffordable! I’m suspecting you have moved to a beautiful place and it is so exciting to explore a new area at leisure – I do miss that a little.

        Regarding the OU – I was fortunate to do it when the fees were more affordable and when there were real life tutorials as opposed to all online. I used my art class money for the most part, and that felt so right. I didn’t get to finish doing a degree when i left school so it was a wonderful experience, but you can learn so much from doing modules, as you must have done…that any duration of study with them them is time well spent.

        Re the volunteering, it doesn’t cut into my time too much and gives me a balance to what is inevitable with creative self employment, that being very self focused. I work in mental health mostly, that is my main interest and pull, where I can use my own experiences to some extent – it is so rewarding and I chose to do it after my midlife crisis where depression and anxiety reared their ugly heads.
        We share the passion for gardening and you have a lovely flat blank canvas to get started on! Just wonderful!

        Wishing you all the very best, Ari :>)

      2. I did enjoy the OU when I was doing it, and even though I wasn’t able to get my degree (yet) it was fun to do all that learning.

        Volunteering is wonderful and it is lovely that you do so much to help others. Mental health is so important.

  2. Such a great idea for a post. I hope things are getting better for you each day, Ari. I like how you mentioned you’ve been blogging for five years but didn’t really get it together until 2017. I was the same way. I started in 2012 and then it wasn’t until 2015/2016 that I realized my blog could become something more and I could really reach out and make friends.

    But anyway! I’m Rachel residing in the U.S. I’m a writer and blogger teaching myself new tricks such as graphic design/photography, and more. My main goal in 2019 is to figure out exactly who I am and what I want. I’m getting closer each and every day, working hard, but balancing that with family and friends and general in real life time (I spend way too much time on the Internet, despite it being my job!). 2019 has been a mixture of good and bad and my mental health hasn’t been kind in a while, but it’s slowly getting better. I’m making it get better whether it wants to or not.

    I’m happy to have connected with you, Ari. It’s been a blessing. 🙂

    1. Hi Rachel, thanks for messaging. I like these connect posts as I have been able to meet and learn about some awesome people and it encourages people to make those connections with each other that we often feel nervous too.

      I like that we both didn’t start straight away and that we both didn’t just fully abandon our blogs either. No wonder we’re friends, we are so similar 😀

      I think that is an awesome goal for 2019, it’s so important to just cut everything away and really focus on what you truly want. I’m sorry 2019 hasn’t all been good, but here’s hoping that the rest will be better.

      I’m so pleased we met and became friends, you are such a positive light in the blogging community.

      1. Thanks for starting this. This is a great idea for a post!

        It is funny, I just kind of those my blog would grow and that’s that. I mean, what else can it do? It never occurred to me that I could do it as a full-time job and actually have to really work at it!

        Thanks. I’ve spent so much time researching, trial and error, with so many things and just working so much in general. I need to prioritize and do what’s right for me and what I want.

        I’m so happy we met too. It’s been such a joy to have a close friend on the other side. 🙂

      2. I know what you mean about needing to prioritise. At the moment I am so bogged down with trying to keep up with so much stuff due to the move/family commitments that I am doing NOTHING of fun. (except this blog)

        And I’m not organised enough at this time so I feel like I’m constantly fire fighting and I need to find a way to step back and regain some balance and start doing fun things again.

      3. I totally hear you. My sister and I were just complaining about how there are so many things we want/need to do and there just aren’t enough hours in the day. But of course, when real life things are going on (good or bad), you can’t really miss out on that.

  3. Hello! I am from Northwest Indiana. Even though I don’t feel like I fit here. I have run with an Olympic runner. I am a writer, a reader, and a runner.
    2019 seems to be in an upward swing. I am focusing on a lot of writing and that is going well. My word for the year is CONNECT so I am trying to connect with others in meaningful ways so I felt compelled to answer your question prompts!

    1. Hi Tammy, thanks for messaging. Tell me something you love about Indiana? Wow, you ran with an Olympic runner? That is so cool! I think it’s great having a focus word for the year and I’m so pleased you chose Connect!

      Tell me why you decided you wanted to be a writer?

      1. Something I love about Indiana…hmmmm…It is where I am originally from and I have great memories here growing up. I also like that we normally have 4 seasons. Adam Goucher wrote a book and I was able to go on a group run with him at the Indiana Dunes. I cannot NOT be a writer. I have always written. I decided about 1.5 years ago to take it seriously and write every day and get better and submit. Writing is my happy place. How about you? Why do you love writing?

      2. Tammy, You ask why we love to write. Personally, I love to write, because it allows me to escape into my world and tell the story as my characters tell it to me. Writing can sometimes be theraputic to me, too. Why do you write?

      3. I love places that actually have seasons, I don’t know how people can enjoy places that are just hot all year round. I need cold in Winter lol

        I love writing because it’s like “coming home”. It is the truest part of me. The stories, the characters, they all need to come out and I can read my work over and over.

        Even if I never get published, if I decide to just keep my writing to myself, I will still love it and continue it 🙂

  4. Hey Ari. I hope you are doing better. I too have had trouble with anxiety.

    This is Bryan Fagan.

    Born and raised in Burlington, Washington. I’ve been living in Eugene, Oregon since 1994.

    I called 2018 the year of the pain. In fact my wife and two daughters came up with that one. For me it was all about knee and ankle pain for the other half I think my complaining was causing them mental pain. 🙂

    2019 is much better. My ankle pain is gone. it is back to being a normal ankle. I had knee replacement surgery in November. The healing will take a while but I’ll get there. Aside from rehab I am working on my second novel. Hope to have the first draft completed soon.

    Fun Fact: Back in my college days I participated in the Miss Southern Oregon Beauty Patient. Me and about a dozen other guys dressed in drag and put on a show. It was the only time I was ever on TV.

    1. Hi Bryan, thanks for messaging. Anxiety does seem to be an equal opportunities pain-in-the-ass. 😀 Though I think the more we talk about it, the more we share our experiences, the more we can connect and help each other. Thanks for sharing that you have anxiety, I know it’s not always easy to do that, even to people you are friends with 🙂

      Would you ever go back to Burlington?

      I’m so glad to hear the pain is gone and that your knee is healing. It’s a good excuse to get rest, and write 😀 Good luck with your first draft, I’m sure it will be finished in no time 🙂

      Question… did you win!? 😀

      1. Honestly, since I’ve been verbally and emotionally abused before, I have anxiety at times, although it’s gotten better since I’ve moved back to my small town living. When I have an anxiety attack, I turn to my favorite music.

      2. To answer your questions:

        I would go back to Burlington for a visit and that is all. That town brings back lots of memories of special people who are no longer with us. I prefer thinking about them in a different location.

        For your other question, no. Sadly I did not win. The winner was outstanding. He played a guitar, had a great singing voice and, I must say, he looked great in drag. 🙂

  5. Hi Ari 😊
    I’m so glad writing – blogging – WordPress – all the above has helped you 💕
    Change always takes time to adjust to.. just try to enjoy the moments in between it all..
    Sending you big hugs and hoping 2019 is a time for growth and peace for you 😊

    1. Thanks for your message. Oh, it has, when I really started to take my blog seriously (but not too seriously…after all, I want to enjoy what I do) in 2017, I am overwhelmed by how fun it’s been and how lovely it is to connect with the blogging community.

      Now that I work from home, connections online are even more important as it stops me becoming too isolated. Though with family close by, I could never isolate myself too much 🙂

      Thank you for your kind words, I appreciate that. I don’t deal with change well but I’m trying not to keep fighting it. I hope 2019 will be good for you too.

  6. Well Ari, you and I have chatted before about walking in parks and taking pictures and you promised yourself, once you got all settled in at your new place and that last box is flattened, you will begin to embark on walks again. I know you have a lot of writing commitments pulling at you, so it will be difficult. I was born in Oakville, Ontario, Canada and moved to the U.S. in 1966 with my parents. I have no siblings. My father was transferred with Ford Motor Company. I’ve lived here for 53 years and still am a Canadian citizen, here on a green card. I don’t know if it is just because I am a procrastinator, or I one day hope to return to Canada. I have no family left there, or here for that matter, so I must give it a lot of consideration. I have way too much stuff and clutter – you think you had a big move – I often look around and wonder how two other people, and a bird, lived in this house … it is just me now and where did they fit into the picture? I am a legal secretary working for a labor lawyer. I’ve worked for him 19 years this Fall, and have worked from home since 2011. I love that I can work from home – that is why I started my walking regimen … I needed more exercise. Take care of yourself Ari.

    1. Hi Linda, thanks for the message. LOL yes I did promise that and while the last box is not yet flattened, we are getting there and I am looking forward to going for more walks – although the destruction of my point-and-click camera was upsetting so I may not be about to take great pictures. 😦

      There are some mountains about 30mins from our house and one thing I want to do is visit them this year (maybe not climb them even though they are not like scary steep) but they are in a forest park that is apparently so lovely. I think that’s got to be on my list 🙂

      Do you like where you live in the US?

      Oh my gosh, I am overwhelmed with the amount of stuff we had. In fact, before we moved over to N. Ireland we had a massive purge but now I look around and am shocked at how much we STILL HAVE. I am trying to live by the quote “Collected memories not things” and reduce, reduce, reduce.

      Okay you have once again inspired me that I NEED to start doing more. I may start with a small walk around the block, just to do something. I think those small steps towards a routine are the best way to create momentum.

      1. Sorry Ari – I opened the other comment first and asked you about the walking. I am quite behind here, having worked late, then did a blog post (I went a week without doing one which is unusual for me).

        Are you enjoying the warm spell that some of Europe and the UK are enjoying now? It will spur you to get out and enjoy the parks, and the mountain sounds fabulous. I miss going to the parks as the weather here has been bad and the potholes are so large, some rural areas where the parks are located are just a two-way street, so I’m reluctant to travel on them. We’ve had freeze/thaw cycles all Winter. They call them “car-eating potholes” and it’s not exaggerating as you saw in the last post.

        Sorry to hear about your camera. That is what I use primarily and 2017 was such an abysmal year for me, after dealing with contractors and mess in my house the second half of the year, I treated myself to an easy-to-use DSLR (or so they say). I’m not a fan of reading the manual and have been shooting on automatic – I hope to learn how to use it manually this Summer, mostly on the weekends when I have more time for picture taking AND walking.

        I am glad I’ve inspired you to walk and get out more – that is how I started, one walk around the block and kept increasing it … create that momentum!

        I have clutter galore – at least you downsized a little for your move to Ireland – I would be in big trouble if I had to share space with anyone! Someone suggested getting a treadmill and I looked downstairs and shook my head – it’s a small house, but there’s no way I could put one down there.

      2. I have enjoyed the warmer weather, better than moving boxes or running back and forth to the recycling centre in the cold 🙂

        Those potholes are scary! I didn’t think that was possible and I would probably never drive again if we had them here.

        Lol I hate manuals as well and camera ones always seem massive.

      3. I took a longer drive than normal yesterday as it had been awhile and I don’t drive enough as I work from home. I went early in the morning in case I had to dodge any potholes and could have the road to myself … they are not only big, but will ruin your tires or axles. The weather has been abysmal this Winter season and I hope Spring is more than just a day on the calendar and some warmth and sunshine is on the way soon. Once you can fling off the coat, hat and gloves feels like the first day of real Spring to me.

  7. You know me, Ari. 😉 Well, at least I’ve done a couple of these before, so you sorta already know me.

    I grew up in Dearborn, MI, USA. Since I was married (43 years ago!) I’ve lived in 6 different states ending with where I am now – Illinois. Fun Fact: I used to have my own horse. 🙂 Hobbies: Too many, most of which I haven’t really done in a while. I’m still taking photos though. 🙂How am I finding 2019?: By looking at my calendar. 😉Actually, so far about the same as 2018. Wishing I had more to report.

    Other things to tell you: You’re a dear and I’m so glad you’re one of my online friends. 😃❤️

    Many blessings and hugs!

    1. Hi Pearl, lol yes we’ve been friends for quite a while now 🙂

      Oooh I’ve never heard of Dearborn, I like that name. Is there a history behind that name? 43 years married, that is so awesome!! My partner and I just passed our 15th year together. 😀

      Aww what was your horse called? I love photography, you should post your pictures on your blog. I follow another blogger who shares photos of nature and her garden, they are so much fun to scroll through. I’d love to see your photos.

      AWWW You are so sweet! *hugs* I’m glad we are friends too, and we need to catch up properly.

      Wishing you all the best,

  8. carmenlehtimaki

    I was born and raised in Atlanta, GA (USA since I know you’re in another country) Hhmm fun fact…I am really into magic. I like to learn different tricks. My hobbies include video games (I love VR right now), writing and reading. 2019 is another new start. A lot of great things to come this year. I turn 30 🙂 and I am more focused on writing than I have been in a while but that started back in 2018. I just want to connect with more people like me. I think that’s the biggest thing I realized in 2018. I want a more writing-centered group of people to chat with. It helps keep me focused.

    1. Hi Carmen, thanks for your message. That is so cool you are into magic, do you have a specialty like card tricks or do you just try anything? How did you get into that? I am glad you are looking ahead with positivity for the year, that’s the best way to be. I know what you mean, I made the same decision in early 2018 to connect with more writers and was happy when my writing game #TheMerryWriter became a community and brought so many writers together. It’s been a great experience.

      1. carmenlehtimaki

        So I’ve always like magic shows and thought it was so cool.then I went to Vegas and found a magic shop called Houdinis. It was nice because they had simple tricks you could try with video instructions. So I got a card deck. I got the gist of it but my slight of hand is still lacking. Now I have the flying card trick disappearing hat and a few others.

        Yes connecting with them isn’t all that hard either. I’ve been enjoying it. And the merry writer is such a food game. Y’all ask questions that really make me think and get excited. I also love that you post the calendar of it for the month because it’s easier for me to participate when I can schedule it out. Also, thanks for being so responsive on your blogs. Love that.

      2. I love magic tricks, I remember seeing a show that had Darcy Oakes and loved his tricks. I think it’s so cool you do tricks!

        Aww yay, I’m so pleased you enjoy #TheMerryWriter, I am shocked at how well it was received and now so many people are repeat players I am getting to know the participants so well, not to mention there are a load of new WIPs I’m interested in and can’t wait for people to get them finished and published!

        lol I know what you mean, I would not manage to keep active on Twitter if it wasn’t for scheduling and I think it does make it easier if people see the questions early and can schedule their responses so that they don’t miss days if they don’t want to.

        That’s so kind of you. I try to reply to every comment, normally I’m okay as I check the blog daily but I have fallen behind a few days due to this move.

        I can’t wait until I get more organised with a new schedule and routine once most of the unpacking is done 🙂

      3. carmenlehtimaki

        Thank you. I’ve always been interested things that are typically deemed dorky. Those are the most fun to me.

        I totally get you with having to get your new home organized first. I have been traveling a lot lately and it’s hard to stay on track when you’re in a different time zone. I like it when things aren’t so hectic so I can be more scheduled with my writing time again. Just not having a regular schedule with everything off throws me off entirely too much.

        Btw how do you come up with the merry writer questions?

      4. Most of the questions just come to randomly. Others will be as simple as someone making a comment about something and I get a question from it.

        Rachel has beeen great and helped me out with some of the questions for Feb and Mar so I don’t have to think of ALL the questions any more 🙂

      1. carmenlehtimaki

        Hey Ann. I don’t live their currently but I visit frequently so that’s good to know.

      2. That’s cool.By the way ari, I forgot to mention in my other comment, the podcast I like are as follows: writing excuses, the author stories podcast with Hank Garner, ditchdiggers, I should be writing, Jen Lowry rights, ask Win, work in progress with Tiffany para, writers routine, and there are a few others.

  9. Hi Ari! My pen name is Eda and the details of my life are [Dr. Evil voice] in-con-seh-quen-tial. Also, I write under a pen name to distance my writing from my professional life. I consider myself a hobby novelist so while I do self-publish and clap with glee when I sell a book, I’m not super invested in monetizing my writing. Maybe someday… For now, I’ve got two kids, two jobs, and too little time.

    1. Hi Eda, thanks for your message. I know what you mean, I like the distance that comes with a pen name too. Writing primarily for yourself and enjoying the experience is a definite priority in my opinion. Selling is great, but the writing should definitely be done for yourself rather than the money so I can totally understand what you mean about not being super invested in the monetisation.

      Oh my, too little time – I know how that feels. I feel like I’m constantly-fire fighting right now as I was very ill in January and then moved house in February so I feel so behind with everything and I was already stretched for time before all this!

  10. My name is Jaya and I am from Virginia. I am loving 2019 as it might be the year I go on my first plane trip! I love writing, sewing, singing, and sitting with my dog. Fun Fact: I never write with pencil.

    1. Hi Jaya, thanks for your message. I am so pleased to hear 2019 is a good year for you. Where will you be going on your plane trip? What’s your dog’s name? And how did you get into sewing? I remember doing sewing in high school and was actually not too bad on the sewing machine, except that sometimes I couldn’t control how fast I went! lol

  11. Reblogged this on Ann Writes Inspiration and commented:
    I’m from A small town in Soth Central Georgia called Rochelle. I love to play my Tibetan Singing bowl with I’m stressed or have anxiety. Just so you know, I have anxiety issues too, so you’re not alone. I love to crochet, read/listen to audio books and podcasts and music. My 2019 is off to a great start. I have four books published so far, one of which I will be launching on March 10. My launch day also happens to be my Birthday. If you want the link, please let me know and I’ll share it with you.
    If you’re interested, I’m starting a featured book of the weak column on my blog, so be looking out for that.
    Another fun fact about me is that I am blind and have been since birth.

    1. Hi Ann, thanks for your message. Tell me something you love about your town. The Tibetan Singing bowl is so lovely, I’ve heard it played and it has such a beautiful voice. How did you get into the Tibetan Singing Bowl? Do you have any podcasts you can recommend? Wow 4 books published, that is incredible! Congratulations 🙂

      Would you be interested in doing a guest post on this blog? I would love to interview you? If so, please complete the form on this following page: https://arimeghlen.co.uk/guest-posters/interested-in-guest-posting/ and I can email over some questions to you.

      1. There’s not much about the town itself, as it’s a small town with one red light coming into town and one red light going out of town, but I love living in a rural area. It’s so peaceful and my front porch is a great place to sit and let my characters talk to me.
        As for the Tibetan singing bowl, I read about it on a blog post several years ago and heard someone on a phone conference I participated in, talking about its healing qualities. I found some audio recordings and a couple of YouTube videos and once I heard it, I had to have one. i don’t necessarily play it every day, but when I do, I also get inspired to write.
        I will be glad tobe a guest on your blog. I will fill out the form after I send this comment.

      2. I have to admit I prefer the rural to the cities. We live in a small satelitte town surrounded by a lot of fields, parks and beaches. So you are only ever like 10mins drive from being in the middle of nature.

        That is so lovely that the singing bowl gives you inspiration. 🙂

  12. Hi Ari: My name is Len White, born in England, lived in Canada for 50 years. Nothing exciting about me, retired for 13 years. My wife and I helped my daughter and her husband raise their 5 children while they worked ( 14 year old, 13 year old triplets and 8 year old). They no longer need baby sitting. Was bored this time last year so opened a Twitter account and started blogging on WordPress. Started as a diary and autobiographical in nature, but am starting to follow some prompts and attempt fiction. 2019 has been trying to survive the snow and ice…..lots of it. Here is one of my recent blogs The Classroom Circus http://lensdiary.blog/2019/02/07. Nice to visit with you Ari.

    1. Hi Len, thanks for your message. Tell me something you love about Canada. It sounds like you enjoy keeping busy and I hope you are having fun with writing fiction. Thanks for sharing your blog. 🙂

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