Blogging Lessons…


Yesterday I got a rather , ummm what word shall I use???? Harsh? Mean? Angry? Bitter? (definitely not kind), resentful? I don’t know what word to use because sometimes it can be difficult to accurately discern the true tone of someones words by email. But suffice it to say , this person who left a comment on my blog, a complete stranger I may add, had issues with my writing and the accuracy of the content of some of my posts. At least I think she meant to portray her distain (?) Possibly superiority as a result of my lack of research into certain information I had published, for example, “Boquete” does not mean” bouquet “and the Feria is not TWO WEEKS its Jan 10-19! Oh, and she knows all about allll the holidays that are observed here in Panama and feels I should also know them and blah blah blah. (maybe she was trying to help me?). I don’t rightly know what the purpose of the comment on my blog truly was, If it was to ‘help’ me, I must say that I did learn something. She’s not wrong about the importance of putting true and correct information on my blog. I do try to write about what I know but given the fact that I don’t know everything about everything, I may occasionally, and very unintentionally, write something that is inaccurate.
May I remind those of you who read my little blog… I’m not a professional writer and honestly it takes some courage to publish my words for all to read. Mostly, I began writing this as a way to stay connected with my friends and family but my readership has grown and now there are hundreds of people who follow my blog who don’t know me and many who tell me they enjoy following my journey. For the most part I’ve been very touched by the kind words I receive from complete strangers. Many of those ‘complete strangers’ have since become good friends and I have my blog to thank for these new friends. They say you have to take the good with the bad and this is something I just had firsthand experience with last night. While I agree I need to remember that putting words out for all to read brings with it a certain amount of responsibility on my part to be as truthful and honest and accurate as I possibly can. But, honestly, truth be told, I Don’t know everything and my experience will not always match those of others who have moved here long ago. I honestly do my best to write and tell you about things as accurately as I can but when I mis-speak, (because I will), I’m happy to make corrections and undo my wrong. Writing a blog, for me, is a learning experience and I’m having a great time doing it, please forgive my mistakes and if you feel the need to share how much more you know than me (which, believe me, will be ALOT!) I ask that you do so in a private email. Boy, is it embarrassing, and I think unnecessary, to get yelled at (that’s how it feels to me) in public. And I beg you to remember that I am human and I’m just sharing my experience, not attempting to sound as though I’m an expert at living abroad or that I am a scholar on all things Panama , did I forget to mention this is a NEW experience for me? As is blogging, I love talking and chatting and sharing my perspective, please don’t ruin my fun, no one’s forcing you to read the junk I write….move on to a different blog or forum or whatever you can find that will provide absolute accuracy , one that will satisfy your need for perfection or does my lack of professionalism,editorial accuracy and literary intelligence just make you feel superior? Hmmmm…..


About hollycarter184

Life is Good! But it's time for a change, and more adventure! I'd like to share the whole experience of preparing then actually making a reality of expatriating, and moving to a new country. It's an exciting, and slightly scary move full of possibility . I'm looking forward to learning a new language and making new connections with the people who share our spirit of adventure. This blog is my way of continuing my connection with my friends and family in the States. Sooooo here it goes! :)

43 responses »

  1. Amazing how someone can not only be negative, but dare to publicize their negativity on a “free” blog. The lady had NO class at all and in my opinion, little intelligence. Let me just set the record straight — my whole family is moving to Panama, in part because of this blog and the information you guys were willing to share. To do what you do and post the private information does take courage and Holly, you have that in spades. Keep writing girl, and damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead.

    • Jerry, I’m smiling ….Torpedoes full speed ahead!!! I’m so glad to have mad a positive contribution to your research , thanks for being such a wonderful supportive friend!! Cheers!!

  2. Wow! Holly, welcome to the world of blogging. I’ve had that happen to me a couple of times. In fact, it was on my first post. Here’s a link: Actually, it’s a very funny story and I got my revenge.
    You don’t have to apologize for anything. It’s your blog and it’s fantastic. I’m sorry it happened, but it was to be expected. There are always insecure, angry, and bitter people in the world who compensate for their weaknesses by lashing out on others who are happy and well-adjusted.

    I know we can either accept or reject comments on our blogs, but one thing that does concern me is that we can’t block subscribers unless we make our blogs private. Most of my articles are about cultural immersion and daily life in Nicaragua. But, when I do rant, I always expect comments that are controversial. My most popular post, “Anatomy of the Cult Ecoovie” is an investigation into a dangerous cult on our island. I suspect that I have a few stalkers from this post. They subscribe, then unsubscribe on a regular basis. It kind of worries me because I think they have something to do with this post and they are watching me. I contacted WordPress, but there is no way I can block them from subscribing.

    Blogging has its ups and downs. It is a learning experience. But, the rewards outweigh the challenges and I would be lost without my blog. Like you, I’ve met wonderful people through my blog. I wouldn’t have it any other way. Chin up my friend and just keep writing…writing…writing.

    • Oh Debbie! Thanks for sharing that with me! This type of interaction with negativity is by no means why we write. But on the other hand…the outpouring of support and kindness has had me in tears off and on all day today! Knowing that I have a community of such kind, caring, supportive readers who actually took the time to stop and send me encouragement really keeps me going. And hearing from you and other bloggers I admire , that you have also been surprised by occasional outbursts from Negative-Nellies , well, I’m glad it’s not just me! πŸ™‚ Let’s just have fun and write to our hearts content!! Cheers!!

    • Carolee, Many thanks for your consistent support and encouragement ! Every time I see your name pop up on my comment page I smile!! I cherish you and all the thoughts you always offer, it’s friends like you who keep me writing. Cheers my friend!

  3. This is so unfortunate that happy people who are content in their life have to be bullied by others…even here. Isn’t a “blog” a place to express yourself? If people do not like what you say, shouldn’t they just “keep going” when trolling blogs? Weird. I just started blogging here and haven’t found any responses yet but as others above have suggested…whatever. You are doing a fantastic job blogging. I was inspired by you and your friendly bloggers (hugs to you all!) that it is something that I can do too. Love you Holly! Keep up your wonderful blogging!

    • Laura, I didn’t know you had started a blog! I must find it!! Thanks so much for your kind words, your right it is unfortunate that there are people out there who want to spread their own unhappiness around, but we aren’t buying! Nope!! We’ll just keep on spreading our happiness and write about what makes us feel good and soak up all the kindness we generously share with each other. Cheers My Friend!!

  4. i am so sorry that this happened; it’s so easy with an unkind word to rob others of the joy of life and of the things that make them smile. like artists, writers can be ultra sensitive, and an unkind remark or retort can send them into a fast retreat, like an unexpected tornado appearing out of nowhere and barreling through the core of your psyche.

    you have handled this with amazing strength and professionalism, and i am so proud of you! you are simply reporting your new experiences of adapting to a new culture. we all make mistakes, and we all learn to be wary of others who find not-so-sensitive ways to call attention to words we’ve written – or art that we’ve created. i well remember a long time ago a lady walked up to one of my large tree studies in a show, and she remarked, ‘that is so depressing.’

    i was shocked; floored, as i love trees and thought/assumed that my love and admiration for that particular tree found its way to others! but then it depends on the psyche of that other individual! another friend of mine saw another tree study and cried when she saw it. she said, ‘it’s the best you’ve ever done..’

    sigh. i’ll never forget that remark, however, and she helped me develop a thicker skin to shield me from unkind remarks!

    soar on, dear holly! we love you and your joy of experiencing your new life!


    • Ohhh! Thank you! Thank you! Yes, this experience did kinda shake me up a bit and then today , receiving countless comments from so many caring and supportive friends like you just built me right back up again!! As I sit and read so many kind words from people who actually value my little blog, I’m humbled by it. Receiving all this reaffirming response from people makes one little negative nellie seem much less powerful! I think I’ll let go of that and embrace all the goodness instead!!!! Yep!! That’s exactly what I’ll do! Thanks!! I love you so much and it’s times like this that I am soooo glad I started writing. Smiling!!! Cheers Mi Amiga!!!

  5. Hi retired and retired…I went back to read that older post. I agree with you…about not sacrificing who you are just because someone else has a problem with it. As a fellow teacher, and this is my 24 year of teaching, I agree with you whole-heatedly. And apples usually do not fall far from the tree. I’ve said that many times…especially after certain types of “phone calls” or PT interviews. Lol. I’ve been discouraged many times, to the point I am “done” and am just putting time in so that I can retire too, and have constantly told myself to continue having a sense of humour with the “people and world” I’m in …and remind myself…”whatever”. I know who I am and will not sacrifice who I am. Sometimes it’s got me in hot water for standing up for what I believe in and who I am…but once again, whatever. I am me.

  6. Hi, Holly-Berry …..

    I must say that your response to the individual whom chose to disrespectfully and contemptuously critique your applaudable efforts to culturally and linguistically immerse yourself in the space and place in which you now reside was far more kind, solicitous and gracious than I would have been. That said :

    We all know and are directly or vicariously subjected to those whose sense of self-importance, alas, diminishes civility. They tend to live in circles wherein their pontificating, self-effusive, small, and insignificant belief in their ‘ exceptionalism ‘ resonates in insular isolation.

    Frankly, the pontificators are only worthy of a dismissive smile and consignment to the experiential debris which ferments in corners….. LOL….my NYC ‘ attitude ‘ taking hold at the moment…

    Hey, luv …. as we say ” fuggettabout it ” ……Just keep on doing proudly what you are doing….

    Luv ya,

    • Ha!Ha!Ha! Ohhh, my favorite Auntie!! I think I’ll take your advise and….”Fuggettaboutit!” Love it!!! Some people Suck… But wayyyy more people RULE!!! Like you! Your THE BEST!! I’m so lucky to have you in my life…Hugs!!!

  7. I ❀your blogging! Keep up the most excellent job. You are not a news reporter therefore you can write whatever you want. The comments lest by this person are sad because clearly they are not happy and feel the need to tell others what to do. Smile & be happy…..

    • Thanks Shelly!
      Your right! Some people are just unhappy souls and wish only to bring others down with them…Well, with friends like I have, that ain’t gonna happen!! Your encouragement means the world to me and I’m so glad this happened because the result has been an incredible outpouring of kindness from so many people..I think I’ll just keep writing…cuz’ I like it!!! Cheers!

  8. ‘Nuff said Holly, if someone does like what you write they can skip it. Keep at it as long as YOU enjoy writing it. I think that likely this person wouldn’t end up being one of your “besties”. You write from the heart, you is who you is. πŸ™‚

    • Thanks Karen!!

      Your so right..I gotta be ME!! We just cant please em’ all right? And when I think about why I write I just remember, I write because I love to express myself and especially expressing myself on this platform because I get to forge connections with amazing people like yourself. I feel so supported today by all my fellow bloggers and all my loyal readers who have sent me countless messages of such validating and complimentary words, I am deeply touched and grateful right now. So, I think I’ll take the advise of my aunt and just…”furgettabout” such nonsense that comes from an unhappy Negative-Nellie!! Cheers!!

      • I just re read my comment. I meant to say “doesn’t”.

        Goooo Guuurrrrllll! πŸ™‚

  9. Holly, You are a bit of sunshine in my day. I enjoying reading your blogs and find them very interesting. Forget about the bully, cause that’s what that person really is and don’t forget that probably 99% of your followers/readers are as grateful as I am. Please, please don’t waste any time/sweat/tears on the 1%…my two cents on that.

    • Tom,

      Your Two cents means Millions to me! And I just love being a bit of sunshine in your day!!! Smiling!! Your so right….Bully’s are just such nonsense and I’ll put my chin up and keep on doing what I’m enjoying, which is sharing my story with people like you who appreciate me for who I am!! Thanks for taking the time to build me up and encourage me, that meanie is just a waste of time…I have no time to waste cuz’ I gotta keep on shining!! Cheers!!

  10. Please don’t take this to heart, I am often getting personal attacks on my blog and well lets just say… they are not personal. These people go around and look for bad things to say to people to make themselves feel better. Just feel sorry for that person and keep posting!!

    • Lauren! Your words of encouragement are priceless! I’m not going to let this one negative-nellie ruin my fun! And thanks for reminding me that it’s not about me at all, it’s a very unhappy person who carelessly spreads unkind, uncaring and downright mean energy to those of us who only want to live a life of peace. I’m glad to have people like you in my life who generously send such kind words to kindred spirits, we just wanna blog, and share our stories…geesh! I think I’ll just keep on doing what I love, which is writing about my life in my own way! Cheers mi Amiga!!! (Smiling!)

      • Hii Holly!
        You are so sweet. I guess we have to remain strong in the face of hatred, especially when it is completely irrational! I think a part of it is jealousy!!
        When I received my first ‘hate mail’ there was a moment when I thought I should pull down my blog… then I realised that they would then win! So I kept it going and received more enjoyment from it since πŸ˜€
        Keep writing and keep smiling, beautiful!!!

        Lauren x

  11. Hi Holly. Regardless of what you write, there will always be someone out there who either miss-understands what you’re trying to say or totally disagrees with you and knows more about whatever subject that was mentioned. I have found that the keyboard is very impersonal and shows no emotion. It only states what its author has typed. Some readers will interpret there own feelings into what was written and then blast the author for not agreeing or just plain getting it wrong.

    Don’t worry about it and don’t try to rectify what you have written. If someone doesn’t like what is placed on paper, in the name of common sense, delete it or just move on. This is your story! The so called “PC” police have no muscle here.

    Keep writing,

    • Thanks Captain!!
      Your right! The PC police can just get lost! I was temped to attempt to stand up to this bully last night. She actually kept going and sent another blast after my initial response to her verbal attack. But I decided to take the advice of a friend and just delete it all and let it go. There will always be someone out there, just like you said , who disagrees with something I write or has something critical to say , I’ll never please everyone. But , really, is that why I’m writing? to please everyone? Nope…Just writing to share my experience and to express myself in a way that brings me pleasure. And I gotta tell you, I rrrrrreally find pleasure in writing . So, I think I’ll do just that….Keep writing! Thanks for the words of encouragement! Cheers!

  12. These twits who leave nasty comments really have no life. I have removed all anonymous comments from my website for that specific reason. They are trolls, virtual broom riders if you will. I have never commented on your blog but love it, love the personal stories, love hearing about you building your dreams. Keep up the great work!

    • Thank you so much! Your right…Gosh darn TWITS!!! Grrrr! What’s up with that??? I have to say, all the crazy encouraging, supportive responses this experience has elicited has really made my day! And especially hearing from someone like you who I’ve not heard from before makes me smile!! Thank you for taking the time to let me know that my words mean something to you, It warms my heart to no end! Let’s just keep on writing and ignoring the TWITS!! I love that word!!!! Cheers!!

  13. Do not worry, Dear. Your writing is greatly appreciated! If one wishes to know exact meanings, dates, etc., there are guidebooks aplenty. Please keep writing.

    • Walt,
      Thank you my dear friend! I think I will, keep writing!! Some people are just yucky but I’m learning today (not that I didnt already know it, but…) There are wayyyyyy more Rockin’ people than Yucky ones!!! Your words mean a lot to me, and make me smile! Hugs!!

  14. I have been on the internet for almost 20 years, participated and managed a number of busy forums, and interacted with countless people on line. There are always a few bad apples. It sucks and hurts other people, unfortunately. The comments directed at you say way more about the writer than they do about you, and this was confirmed by a Facebook comment from someone who knows her from somewhere else. I think many of these people actually enjoy creating a ruckus so the best thing you can do is take the high road like you did (and very well), or just ignore them completely.

    I also learned that who the person is in their writing is who the person is going to be in person. I had no doubt that we would be great friends when we finally met in person!

    • My Dear Kris,
      Your right…Like people are often attracted to one another and there was no way we would not have become good friends!! I feel so blessed to have met you and I have our blogs to thank for that. In spite of the occasional Troll, who may try to ruin our fun, I just love sharing my story in my blog. This platform of writing elicits a wonderful interaction between writers an readers that I find adds a layer of gratification like no other. It enables us to interact with much more cool people than the few sucky ones who try to crash the party! But we wont let them ruin all our fun!! No Way!!! Let’s just keep on writing to our hearts content and let those Negative-Nellies stay under their bridges! Hugs!!!

  15. I LOVE all the commits from the people that love and respect you.
    Some people are just UGLY inside an out!! I agree with your Aunt J πŸ™‚ ” fuggettabout it ”

    I am so very proud of your blogs πŸ™‚ Since I am not there I really enjoy hearing what is going on with you in you new country and all your new friends along with the adventures πŸ™‚

    Holly, there are people in this world that just live to put someone else down. They are not happy with themselves or their live so they just look for the chance to down grad someone else HAPPINESS and EXCITMENT πŸ™‚

    Holly, you are a bright light of Sunshine for so many people πŸ™‚ You have been an encouragement to so many people to live there dream NOW!!

    I LOVE YOU and I am a very PROUD MOM πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ xxoo

  16. The ill perceived anonymity of the internet gives many the strength to type what they would not say in person.

    I rely upon your blog and many others to help keep me motivated to my retirement move in a few years. Keep up the good work.

    • Mike,
      Your right, the shield of anonymity is a powerful one and It gives people courage to attempt to spread their own unhappiness to those of us who are just living a life they wish they had to courage to live. I hope you make your retirement dream come true in the future and begin your Amazing Adventure! Thanks for the kind words…Cheers!

  17. Holly, if you shake the trees the nuts fall out. Since you come from a state with more nut jobs than any other, you shouldn’t be surprised that they’re out there. Don’t let them get you down and simply ignore them. We do. Enjoy your trials and tribulations!

    • Thanks Capt Dan! Laughing! Your right about the “nut Jobs” I should be used to it, Maybe after just about 8 months here around soooo many cool people , I just got a tad bit desensitized! I had better toughen up, huh? I’ll work on that! Cheers!! πŸ™‚

  18. amen sister! people don’t have to read your blog, i thought it was for us that you left behind (smiles) – i feel closer to you when i read your blog postings, i see them in my email and when i can read them and when i cannot, just wait for the next one. it’s your journey and i appreciate you keeping me in the loop. HUGS from afar.

    • Thanks Deb!
      It truly has been a fun way to keep all you CA peeps in my loop! It also helps me to hold onto you and my connection with you! Thanks for following my journey and for cheering me on! Cheers Mi Amiga!!

  19. Hell I missed all the excitement, went to read what the Oracle of Perfection had writ and it was gone.. However if you are reading this Oracle disappear up your own orifice, and leave my mate Holly alone. One day if you spend the rest of your life trying you may be good enough to kiss the feet of this wonderful, caring, literate woman who spreads joy where ever she goes. Holly she/he is not worth anything, love your blogs also.XXXX0000

  20. Keep your chin up. I really enjoy your blog and you’re helping me prepare for my own adventure in Panama. Like so many others have already said, it’s a sad reflection of them and not you. Thanks for sharing with us!

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