Category Archives: All about ME!

Breaking out of my shell

I want to make this blog a success because, to be honest, I don’t have a lot of successful things in my life; well, at least none that I can see. To work toward this goal, I have decided to take part in WordPress’ Zero to Hero exercise, which promises to help you develop a better blog in 30 days.

I’ll believe it when I see it.

According to the first assignment, I am supposed to introduce myself, which just goes to show I’ve already fucked up this blog thing and made my first post about my Doc Martin/PC Joseph Penhale meme habit. Shit!

To help remedy this error, I’ve decided my second post will be my formal introduction to the blogging world.

Greetings, venerable ones. I am Manure Gurl, a 40-something writer, editor, photographer, wife and mother who lives in the far rural reaches of southern Ontario, Canada; not quite in two-headed calf country but pretty damn close. To get all the stereotypical mumbo-jumbo crap out of the way, no, I do not live in an igloo, although there are some winter nights when my house is probably as cold as one. I drive a mini van, not a dog sled. I haven’t skied in more than 25 years, I cannot ice skate, and none of my children are involved in hockey (sacrilege!). Instead, they are aficionados of the beautiful game, football/soccer, which is played during the summer on a grass-covered field in warm/hot/stifling weather, rain or shine, or in a converted roller rink in the winter (weird but true).

I know you’re wondering, why Manure Gurl? There are several reasons. When I was younger, my best friend used to joke that my eyes were brown because I was full of shit, which wasn’t too far off the mark (my eyes have changed colour since then and are greenish hazel now). I’m a smart ass, a joker, a teller of tales and love hearing and telling stories, the funnier and more off-beat, the better. Also, my first Twitter handle was ManureGurl (I had to go with the creative spelling because someone had already taken ManureGirl, I shit you not) and I still maintain the account. Of course, the main reason is the name has some relation to my day job, what I do when I’m not writing blogs. I write about excrement – shit, manure, crap, dung, muck, guano, poultry litter, droppings, organic fertilizer. I admit, it’s not what I dreamt of doing when I graduated from J-school (I wanted to be a war correspondent) but it helps pay the bills. As the old adage states: It’s a shitty job but someone has to do it.

I’m hoping to use this blog as a vehicle for displaying my true passion, which is writing fiction and poetry. I’m also a big fan of theatre and opera so there may be the odd review thrown in for good measure and, of course, stories and vignettes from my life, both past and present. My world can become pretty fucked up from time to time and that’s always worth a big laugh. It’s better than crying.

I’m a pretty passionate person and can become somewhat obsessive about subjects and hobbies. I’ve been known to research a topic to death, the more obscure and difficult, the bigger the challenge. My current obsessions include collecting Canadian, U.S. and UK first edition books; reading, particularly the 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die; British TV shows Doc Martin and Sherlock; raspberry lemonade; U.S. TV shows Criminal Minds, Mad Men, Homeland, The Killing and The Walking Dead; and losing weight.

I’d probably pee my pants in glee if my blog, or even my Twitter feed, were followed by The Bloggess (Jenny Lawson), British actor John Marquez (@MrJohnmarquez), Matthew Gray Gubler (@GUBLERNATION) or really anybody with a pulse. I know that probably won’t happen, after all these people actually have lives. But it’s nice to dream. And, in the immortal words of that awesome Canadian band, Hedley: I can do anything!